At Cebit today a senior executive from Siemens said the company's massive restructuring, begun in October last year, is already paying off in improved sales revenue.
Dr Volker Jung, Siemens executive committee member, said for the new Information and Communications (IC) business, sales revenue was up to DM18 billion (about $12 billion) and orders booked was up to DM19.4 billion, both up on the same period the previous year.
"[These] figures show that our concept was the right way to go," he said, referring to the restructure.
However, he admitted there were still further changes to come in the division. He said the copper communication cables business has been put up for sale and the company was considering spinning off its point of sales and self service systems unit by a stock exchange listing. He said he expected decisions on both to be reached within weeks.
He also revealed that Siemens was planning to create a separate smart card business unit.
"Siemens Smart Card Systems will start out as an internal joint venture among those Siemens groups that will contribute their smart card activities to the project. At some point this year, we plan to convert this joint venture into a separate legal entity," he revealed in his speech.
The claimed improvement in figures for the IC division was driven mostly by its Siemens Business Services unit, which has landed a number of major contracts, including a DM2.7 billion contract from the National Savings office in the UK.
The information and communications products unit of IC increased sales by only two per cent, which Volker attributed to a drop off in sales of mobile phones. He said he expected strong sales would return later in the year.
The third of the new IC business units, the information and communication networks division, was hit by the Asian and Latin American economic problems and it still needs solid growth in orders to even equal the previous year's figures, admitted Volker.
At the show Siemens was demonstrating a telephone capable of being plugged into a Lan that makes calls over a company's data network, connecting to the global telephone network.
The company was also premiering a terminal adapter that allows standard analog phones, fax machines and modems to connect directly to a Lan. Both products will be launched in August.
The Email Phone was also on show, aimed at consumers who want telephone and Internet access in a single terminal with keyboard. Along similar lines was a digital camera with GSM capability in-built, which Siemens plans to launch next year.
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