Bloomberg News

Siemens Sees Some Slowdown in Payments as Public Sector Suffers

August 03, 2012

Siemens AG (SIE), Germany’s largest engineering company, has experienced a slowdown in client payments and is reacting by selling some accounts receivables to third parties, Chief Financial Officer Joe Kaeser said.

“We see some slowdown in the public sector definitely and that of course makes us take some action that’s helpful to get our cash in,” Kaeser said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York. “We would basically give those account receivables to others and sell them into the market. We’re just securing the downside, you never know.”

Siemens cautioned last month that meetings its earnings goals this year will be a stretch as the economy fails to pick up in the second half. The German maker of high-speed trains, medical equipment and factory-automation gear said today that it’s buying back as much as $3 billion ($3.69 billion) in stock to lock in the “unique opportunity” of long-term debt rates.

Kaeser said a break-up of the euro is a “myth” and that he’s “not so pessimistic” about the region’s prospects. Politicians must find a “way out” of the fiscal crisis, he said in an interview at Bloomberg’s global headquarters.

Siemens intends to maintain financial flexibility in order to have the funds available, whether it’s for acquisitions, ensuring strategic targets are met or investment in organic growth, the CFO said. The Munich-based company has a banking license and runs a financial-services company that has helped customers finance big-ticket projects as banks step back.

To contact the reporters on this story: Betty Liu in New York at; Benedikt Kammel in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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