European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Feb 5, 2015

China to have most robots in world by 2017

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – China will have more robots operating in its production plants by 2017 than any other country as it cranks up automation of its car and electronics factories, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) said on Thursday.

Already the biggest market in the $9.5 billion global robot trade — or $29 billion including associated software, peripherals and systems engineering — China lags far behind its more industrialised peers in terms of robot density.

Feb 4, 2015

New Osram CEO to speed up restructuring, rejects split

FRANKFURT, Feb 4 (Reuters) – The new boss of Germany’s Osram
Licht said he wanted to speed up a restructuring at
the company that helped to drive its quarterly operating profit
up 23 percent.

Osram, the world’s second-biggest light maker after Dutch
Philips, has cut thousands of jobs as it seeks to
refocus its business on higher-margin LED lighting, where it is
racing to stay ahead of Asian rivals.

Feb 4, 2015

Hugo Boss earnings fall short on weak consumer mood

FRANKFURT, Feb 4 (Reuters) – German fashion house Hugo Boss
has reported lower-than-expected pretax earnings,
citing a weaker consumer mood and taking one-off charges due in
part to an overhaul of its Middle Eastern distribution network.

In an unscheduled release of preliminary full-year results,
it said pretax earnings edged 1 percent higher to 437 million
euros ($501 million), missing the average analyst estimate of
470 million after 19 million in one-off charges, mainly due to
severing ties with a Middle East sales agent and the planned
consolidation of its production facilities.

Feb 3, 2015

Voestalpine sticks with U.S. expansion despite weak oil and euro

FRANKFURT, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Austrian steelmaker
Voestalpine’s foreign expansion plans, focused on the
United States, will not be changed by the weak oil price or
euro, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Voestalpine, which sells steel and steel-based products to
the automotive, railway and engineering industries, among
others, has targeted the energy sector as one of its key growth
areas and until recently had benefited from the U.S. shale boom.

Jan 30, 2015

ThyssenKrupp CEO emphasises cost cuts over disposals

BOCHUM, Germany, Jan 30 (Reuters) – ThyssenKrupp’s
chief executive emphasised the importance of cost cuts over
disposals in his turnaround plan for a group which is breaking
with its steelmaking roots to focus on more profitable capital
goods.

Heinrich Hiesinger dampened hopes on Friday for any swift
disposals of ThyssenKrupp’s steel assets, submarine-building
unit or automotive parts business, although he said his work did
include “active portfolio management”.

Jan 27, 2015

Siemens profit falls as price pressures hurt power and gas

MUNICH, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Siemens missed first-quarter
profit forecasts and announced management overhauls at its power
and gas and healthcare divisions, putting pressure on chief
executive Joe Kaeser ahead of a shareholder meeting on Tuesday.

Kaeser, a former Siemens finance chief who ousted Peter
Loescher as CEO in a 2013 boardroom coup, is also expected to
come under fire from shareholders over the decision to spend
$7.6 billion on U.S. oilfield equipment company Dresser-Rand
last year, just before a steep slide in the oil price.

Jan 26, 2015

Siemens faces storm of questions over Dresser-Rand deal

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – German industrial group Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) is set to face a storm of questions on Tuesday over its $7.6 billion (£5 billion) decision to buy U.S. oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand (DRC.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

Investors attending its annual shareholder meeting will want to know how the acquisition, agreed in September in a scramble not to be left behind by the U.S. shale boom, will benefit them, given the halving of the oil price since then to around $49.

Jan 22, 2015

Europe business leaders cautious on ECB plan, may delay reforms

DUBLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Business leaders in Europe gave a mixed welcome to the European Central Bank’s moves to bolster growth and inflation in the euro area on Thursday, with many – especially in Germany – concerned the program could delay unpopular economic reforms.

The ECB launched a government bond-buying program despite opposition from Germany’s Bundesbank and concerns in Berlin. Supporters say it will get credit flowing to boost growth.

Jan 22, 2015

Japanese bid boosts shares in German machine-tool maker DMG

FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, Germany, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Shares in
DMG Mori Seiki AG jumped more than 12 percent after
its smaller Japanese partner launched a takover bid that the
businesses expect to cement the German company’s position as
global market leader in machine-tool manufacturing.

Japan’s DMG Mori Seiki Co Ltd announced its 27.50
euro-per-share offer for all outstanding shares late on
Wednesday, pitched nearly 30 percent above the German stock’s
volume-weighted average price over the past three months and
valuing the company at almost 2.2 billion euros ($2.6
billion).

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.

    • 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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