Siemens CEO Says Geopolitical Upheaval Could Crimp Orders

Siemen's Kaeser: 2017 Will Be a Complicated Year
  • Customers uncertain about the future don’t invest, Kaeser says
  • CEO speaks in interview with Bloomberg TV in Singapore

Siemens AG Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser said revenue and orders at Europe’s biggest engineering company may be crimped if geopolitical turbulence leads customers to delay spending on projects.

Foremost among his concerns is the “geopolitical environment, which gives a lot of uncertainty to our customers about investing into the future,” Kaeser said in a Bloomberg TV interview in Singapore on Saturday. “If people don’t invest into new manufacturing, renewable energy, new health-care technology -- these are our revenues and our bookings.”

Kaeser’s cautious tone for the company’s next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, stands in contrast to the current year, when he raised the earnings forecast twice. The German manufacturer’s guidance is for earnings of 6.50 euros to 6.70 euros a share. In a September 14 interview, he said there may be some upside to the guidance in a “well-working environment.”

In Singapore, he said 2016 should be a “very successful year” for Siemens.

Looking ahead, Kaeser said his concerns include the rise of populism, migration, climate change and the impact of the so-called Internet of things.

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