Siemens AG’s medium-term sales goal of 100 billion euros ($133 billion) is of secondary importance to boosting profitability at Europe’s largest engineering company, Chief Executive Officer Peter Loescher said.
Loescher doesn’t regret his 2011 decision to set the target, he told Deutsche Presse Agentur in an interview, adding that it’s more important to have profitable and capital efficient growth. He also said press reports about a revolt against him by other board members were “humbug.” Siemens spokesman Guenter Gaugler confirmed the comments by phone.
Loescher has come under growing pressure to prove his strategic skills, after most deals that he supervised soured, and a push into more environmentally-friendly energy generation led to spiraling costs. Profitability at Siemens last year dropped back to the levels when Loescher started in 2007, and the CEO issued a new program to cut costs in November after acknowledging he’d been too slow to react to falling demand.
The 100 billion-euro sales target would put Munich-based Siemens on par with General Electric Co., Loescher’s former employer. He announced in October plans to sell solar thermal energy and photovoltaic units, three years after creating the business through acquisitions.
Siemens predicts revenue this year “approaching the level” of 2012’s 78.3 billion euros, Chief Financial Officer Joe Kaeser reiterated Jan. 14.