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Technology / AI and automation


Siemens Plc, the UK end of Siemens AG, has announced turnover for the year to September 30 of UKP1,245m, an increase of 40% on the previous year. When completion of the Killingholme power station, valued at UKP245m is excluded, this growth rate falls to 14%. Profits stood at UKP20m, compared with UKP7m for the year before. The company had an 18% growth in exports to UKP220m compared to UKP186m for the previous year and 8.6% increase in orders to UKP971m, with the Air Traffic Management business of Siemens Plessey Systems, the Semicondutor group and Siemens Nixdorf Imformation Systems enjoying the strongest growth in orders. The workforce was down 3.7% on the year before to 9,830 which the company said reflected adjustments by some parts of the group in line with development of their respective businesses. Overall Siemens in the UK was more profitable than the previous year, but because the company does not consolidate all of its UK businesses, the performance of each individual organisation needs separate consideration. The components sector had orders totalling UKP71.6m and turnover of UKP71.5m. The Semiconductor group increased its sales by 60% due to development into new areas such as chip cards for use with telephones and due to overall growth in this market, with only Siemens Plessey struggling as a result of its investment in the air traffic management business. The information systems company Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems Ltd returned to profits of UKP500,000 and continued its expansion into civil markets with the recently awarded UKP30m contract for the Eurocontrol air traffic management system. The departure of sterling from the Exchange Rate Mechanism and the consequent fall in its value against the mark cost Siemens UKP25m, and it has had to concentrate strongly on increasing productivity to maintain competitiveness. This was up 12% on the 1992-92 fiscal year. Investment in research and development fell by 5% to UKP127m, representing 10% of turnover, although the firm remains committed to the activity in the UK. Projects included development work on the mobile phone handset supplied to Mercury One-2-One Ltd and the air traffic management systems. The company forecasts growth of about 5% for next year, more of this being real growth (as opposed to that resulting from the effects of increased prices from the devaluation of the pound) than last year with targets of turnover up to UKP1,250m an increase of 1% or 7.5% allowing for the power station projects and orders received up to almost UKP1,100m, a 10% increase. All operating companies are expected to be or become profitable, including Siemens Plessey, although actual estimates were not provided.

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