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Siemens Sees `Solid 2012' on Record Backlog, Huber Says

Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, will have a “solid year” because of a record order book, according to the manufacturer’s top labor representative, who is pushing for higher industry wages.

Siemens already has half of its sales “in the bag” for fiscal 2012, safeguarding the company from slower economic growth, Berthold Huber, the head of the IG Metall labor union and a member of Siemens’s supervisory board, said at a press conference in Frankfurt today.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Loescher predicts revenue at the Munich-based company will rise “moderately” this year, excluding potential acquisitions, while order growth will outpace sales and net income from continuing operations will total about 6 billion euros ($7.9 billion). Siemens’s order backlog reached a record 102 billion euros as of Dec. 31. The company’s fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The European economy will undergo a “mild” contraction in coming quarters, Loescher said on Jan. 24.

IG Metall is advising its regional wage-negotiating groups to demand an increase of as much as 6.5 percent for workers in the metals and electronics industries in Germany. The demands coincide with plans by Siemens, one of the country’s largest employers, to eliminate jobs to improve profitability at various businesses, including its Osram lighting unit, the diagnostics division and a networks venture with Nokia Oyj.

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