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Siemens is world`s `fastest growing` automation supplier

25 June, 2007

Siemens claims that it is the world’s fastest growing automation supplier, with sales that are expanding more than twice as fast as the global market. In a recent presentation to investors in Germany, Helmut Gierse, president of Siemens’ Automation and Drives group, revealed that the group’s sales for the first half of the current financial year had grown by 13.7% - compared to 12.2% in 2006.

In the first half of FY 2007, Siemens A&D notched up sales of €7.1bn (compared to €12.8bn for the whole of 2006), and won new orders worth €8.2bn (compared to €14.1bn in 2006). Gierse (below) claims that Siemens’ share of the global automation market last year was 11% (up from 9.7% in 2005).

Siemens Helmut Gierse

Process automation is A&D’s fastest growing sector, with sales expanding by an average of 14% between 1998 and 2006, compared to a market growth of around 7%. Gierse reckons that Siemens is the global number three in the €45bn process sector, and number one in factory automation, where its sales grew by an average of 9% from 1998-2006, compared to a growth rate of around 4% for the €52bn market.

Siemens’ most spectacular growth has been in the Asia-Pacific region where the A&D group achieved an average annual growth rate of 33% over the period 2002–2006 – compared to a market growth rate of 10% (or 15.2% if Japan is excluded). Last year, Siemens A&D’s sales soared by 52% in China and by 80% in India. The company claims to be the automation market-leader in both countries, and now has more than 8,000 employees in China and 2,800 in India.

Gierse described Siemens’ recent $3.5bn acquisition of the US PLM (product lifecycle management) software specialist UGS as being a "game changer". He said that the combined UGS and A&D portfolio will bring together the entire product lifecycle and result in enhanced efficiencies for customers.

Gierse reported that A&D has increased sales in the critical automotive sector despite a drop in investments in this sector. One reason for this, he suggested, was the savings that are possible by integrating safety functions with standard control systems. He gave the example of an automotive body shop with 150 manufacturing cells which previously required separate safety and control functions. Combining these functions using Profisafe leads to savings of around €5,000 per cell – or €750,000 for the whole body shop. Siemens has already supplied such systems to Audi, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Opel and Toyota.

Gierse hopes to keep A&D growing twice as fast as the market, based on a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. Sectors earmarked for further acquisitions include sensors, process automation, and electrical equipment for buildings. Gierse says that the aim is to keep the group’s profit margin in the range 12–15%.

Siemens A&D currently has around 70,500 employees, 45,000 of them working at the group’s 79 manufacturing sites around the world (with just 21 of them being in Germany).

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