In the 168-year history of German engineering conglomerate Siemens, two years is almost like the blink of an eye. For its chief executive officer, however, the last two years constitute nearly half of his time in office.
At the end of July 2013, Joe Kaeser addressed the public as the company’s new head and promised to narrow the gap between Siemens and its competitors, after the group had fallen behind. “If we do this every quarter,” he said, “we’ll get there pretty quickly.”
Eight quarters have now gone by, a long time for the capital markets. Yet Mr. Kaeser is nowhere near achieving his goal and his reorganization of the group has had no impact on its figures.
While arch rival General Electric has performed well, Siemens’ sales fell in the third quarter of its current fiscal year with adjustments for currency effects.
The operating margin in the group’s industrial business was just 9.5 percent, compared with the 10 to 11 percent promised by Mr. Kaeser for the year as a whole.
When asked about where Siemens stood in relation to competitors, Mr. Kaeser said that it was not up to him to judge and that “the capital markets will decide.”
Shares in the group temporarily climbed 4 percent following the presentation of the figures, having tended towards a decline in recent months. One of the reasons is that the profit was slightly better than expected.