Within better than expected full-year figures, those from Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG were nothing to cheer about. Losses came out at the equivalent of $247m, down from $303m, but sales slipped 8.5% to $7,032m – a rather worse decline than IBM Corp has suffered thus far, and orders in hand at the end of the year pointed to continuing deterioration they were off 7% at $7,090m. Earnings of the leading divisions were burdened by weak capacity utilisation as well as restructuring measures, it said. On the other hand we were able to achieve higher financial earnings due to favourable capital market conditions, the company said. Incoming orders overall were off 1.5% at $49,700m. Group research & development was marginally up at $4,549m and employment fell to 391,000 from 413,000 – which despite the much larger manufacturing component in Siemens’ business still seems extremely high for a company with sales only four-fifths those of IBM Corp. Domestic employment fell to 238,000 from 253,000, international to 153,000 from 160,000. The ravaged state of the German market is underlined by the fact that while international orders at the end of the year were up 2.2% on a year ago, German orders were down 5.7%.