European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Mar 18, 2015

Bilfinger CEO sees no breakup despite crisis

MANNHEIM, Germany, March 18 (Reuters) – German engineering
and services firm Bilfinger has no plans to split off
businesses that pushed the company into a deep crisis last year,
its interim chief executive said.

Bilfinger issued a string of profit warnings in 2014 as
first utilities and then oil and gas customers slashed spending
as a result of Germany’s switch to renewable energy and the
plunging oil price.

Mar 17, 2015

Siemens CEO plays down idea of rail venture with Alstom

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – German industrial group Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is not discussing a joint venture in trains with French peer Alstom (ALSO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), its chief executive Joe Kaeser said.

Kaeser had told French daily Le Figaro earlier this month that a consolidation between European transport companies was still possible.

Mar 5, 2015

Kloeckner & Co sees higher 2015 core profit despite tough Q1

FRANKFURT, March 5 (Reuters) – German steel distributor
Kloeckner & Co said it saw core profit rising in 2015
thanks to restructuring and possible acquisitions, even after an
expected tough first-quarter afflicted by steep declines in U.S.
steel prices.

Kloeckner had told Reuters last week profits this quarter
would be “clearly below” those of a year ago but it expected
steel prices in the United States to bottom out and rise again
towards the end of the first half.

Feb 26, 2015

Kloeckner & Co sees U.S. as its most attractive market

DUESSELDORF, Germany, Feb 26 (Reuters) – German steel
distributor Kloeckner & Co expects profits this
quarter to be clearly below those of a year ago as price
pressure remains intense in North America, its chief executive
told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Gisbert Ruehl said although demand was healthy in North
America the market was oversupplied, with high domestic prices
attracting imports from China and even the European Union. “It’s
not a demand shock, it’s a supply shock,” he said.

Feb 26, 2015

Hochtief targets 2015 profit jump after 2014 beat

FRANKFURT, Feb 26 (Reuters) – German construction group
Hochtief targeted a jump of up to 37 percent in
underlying net profit for the coming year as a restructuring
programme under new Chief Executive Marcelino Fernandez Verdes
takes hold, pushing its shares higher.

Hochtief, controlled by Spain’s ACS, said 2014
underlying net profit rose 46 percent to 252 million euros
($286 million), beating its own guidance and the average
estimate of 239 million euros in a Reuters poll.

Feb 24, 2015

German court rules Nespresso mechanism patent invalid

ZURICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A Nestle patent for a
mechanism in its Nespresso coffee machines has been ruled
invalid by a German court, the latest blow to Nestle’s dominance
of the fastest-growing part of the coffee market.

The ruling is a victory for Switzerland’s Ethical Coffee
Company and others trying to grab a bigger piece of the
single-serve coffee market. It follows other cases in recent
months that have also gone against Nespresso.

Feb 24, 2015

German court rules Nespresso capsule patent invalid

ZURICH/FRANKFORT, Feb 24 (Reuters) – A Nestle
patent for a mechanism in its Nespresso coffee machines has been
ruled invalid by a German court after a rival claimed the
mechanism blocked its Nespresso-compatible capsules from

“The patent was declared void,” the federal German patent
court said in a statement on Tuesday announcing a decision of
Feb. 12.

Feb 23, 2015

Holcim seen stronger than Lafarge in merger run-up

ZURICH/FRANKFURT, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Swiss cement maker
Holcim said its merger with Lafarge was on
track to complete in the first half of the year as it reported a
6 percent rise in fourth-quarter core operating profit on
Monday, outpacing growth at its French peer.

Holcim’s fourth-quarter operating profit (EBITDA) rose to
1.01 billion Swiss francs ($1.06 billion), helped by
faster-than-expected cost-cutting and strong cement sales in
North America, slightly above analysts’ estimates.

Feb 19, 2015

Rheinmetall defence orders offer hope after problems

FRANKFURT, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Germany’s Rheinmetall
reported a 76 percent jump in fourth-quarter orders at
its problem-hit defence division, lifting its shares more than 4
percent on Thursday.

Rheinmetall warned twice on profits last year as Germany
cracked down on arms export licences, forcing it to abandon
plans to supply a combat training centre for Russia and delaying
other projects.

Feb 12, 2015

Bilfinger shares surge on high payout, turnaround hopes

FRANKFURT, Feb 12 (Reuters) – German engineering firm
Bilfinger said it would pay a bigger dividend than
expected and sell its troubled offshore wind division after a
2014 marked by a 35 slide in operating profit and a string of
profit warnings.

The firm’s move towards more profitable services from lower
margin construction and engineering coincided with painful
adjustments key customers such utilities RWE and E.ON
were making as Germany switches to renewable energy.

    • 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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