European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Dec 1, 2014

German population drop spells skills shortage in Europe’s powerhouse

SCHILTACH/BERLIN (Reuters) – German bathroom fittings maker Hansgrohe is a successful firm with a track record of global exports and an attractive profit-sharing scheme. But it’s struggling to hire highly-qualified engineers – and many more “Mittelstand” companies are too.

The raft of firms named after their small-to-medium size kept Germany afloat throughout a global economic downturn and still have healthy order books. But now they must brace for a blow to their business from a demographic time bomb.

Nov 20, 2014

ThyssenKrupp restarts dividend as turnaround takes hold

ESSEN, Germany, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Germany’s biggest
steelmaker ThyssenKrupp is resuming dividend payments
a year earlier than expected, signalling confidence in its
turnaround with the promise of a modest payout for shareholders
after it beat profit forecasts.

ThyssenKrupp said on Thursday it would pay 0.11 euros
($0.14) a share for the year to end-September. That confounded
analysts who had almost unanimously predicted it would resume
payouts only after it begins generating cash again in this
financial year.

Nov 12, 2014

Bilfinger at a low point after problems afflict another division

FRANKFURT, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Stricken German building and
services group Bilfinger flagged problems in a second
of its four divisions on Wednesday and cautioned it would take
time to recover from a year it described as a “low point in the
company’s history”.

Loss-making Bilfinger, which issued a fourth profit warning
in five months last week, said its Industry unit was suffering
from reduced investments and cost cuts among its chemicals and
petrochemicals customers, who were in a cyclical downturn.

Nov 11, 2014

German veteran installed as chairman at struggling Bilfinger

FRANKFURT, Nov 11 (Reuters) – German industrial group
Bilfinger installed corporate veteran Eckhard Cordes
as chairman on Tuesday, hoping he can get the company back on
track after a string of profit warnings that have hammered its
shares.

The German’s appointment is part of a reshuffle driven by
top shareholder Cevian, a Sweden-based European activist
investment firm. He inherits a company in turmoil whose top
management members have all either left or are about to do so.

Nov 6, 2014

Siemens sees consolidation, not growth, in 2015

BERLIN, Nov 6 (Reuters) – German engineering group Siemens
resigned itself to another year of flat sales on
Thursday after reporting that one-off charges hit profits again
in the fourth quarter, this time for wind turbines.

Siemens, one of Germany’s biggest companies and a major
exporter of goods from trains to hospital equipment, said it
first aimed to improve the operating margin for its core
industrial businesses to close a gap with rivals before focusing
on growth again.

Nov 5, 2014

Bilfinger power unit triggers fourth profit warning

FRANKFURT, Nov 5 (Reuters) – German industrial services and
building group Bilfinger SE has issued its fourth
profit warning since the end of June, sending its shares
tumbling almost 10 percent.

Bilfinger said on Wednesday a 148 million euro ($185
million) writedown on its energy business, on which it had bet
heavily before the industry entered a steep downturn in Europe,
would lead to a 2014 net loss, made worse by other impairments
and expenses.

Nov 4, 2014

Siemens paves way to hive off healthcare -sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German engineering group Siemens will take a first major step on Wednesday to separate its 14 billion-euro ($18 billion) healthcare unit from the rest of the company, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

Siemens fears large investments will be needed in the high-margin business as new diagnostic methods and new rivals such as Samsung heighten competition with traditional rivals like General Electric and Philips.

Oct 24, 2014

BASF cuts forecasts on anemic Europe and global uncertainty

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s BASF SE (BASFn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest chemicals company by sales, cut its earnings forecasts and its projections for the broader market on Friday, becoming the latest industrial group to fall victim to weak demand in its main European market.

“We have seen a very slow Q3 in terms of demand for Europe … And we don’t feel really a positive momentum going into Q4 and going into 2015,” Chief Executive Kurt Bock told Reuters Insider.

Oct 13, 2014

Self-publishing never easier but money, glory scarce

FRANKFURT, Oct 13 (Reuters) – For any author frustrated by
rejections from publishing houses or wanting to cut out the
middle man, there has never been an easier or cheaper time to
self-publish.

A host of free self-publishing platforms offered by Amazon
, Apple and specialists like Smashwords have
created new opportunities and a huge market for both unknown
hopefuls and a few established writers.

Oct 8, 2014

FDA crackdown hurts Gerresheimer’s U.S. business

FRANKFURT, Oct 8 (Reuters) – German drugs packaging firm
Gerresheimer trimmed its outlook on Wednesday, saying
a regulatory crackdown on its pharmaceutical customers was
hurting its U.S. business.

It said some of its customers had halted manufacturing in
the United States over the summer to revamp their plants to
comply with warnings from the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA).

    • About Georgina

      "Currently based in London, with particular responsibility for professional publishers and the European activities of global technology, media and telecoms firms. Previously European technology correspondent based in Frankfurt. Began career in local radio in Glasgow and then worked in TV news for many years for Reuters, the BBC and Sky News in London and Moscow."
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