There were reasons the atmosphere at Siemens was so incredibly good this Thursday morning. Everything is going like clockwork, and the boss says he is “very proud”. When is there something like this? Quarterly profit has tripled, forecasts have been raised for the third time this fiscal year – Corona or not. Siemens is currently in the process of being converted into a software and digital company with an attached industrial activity, and digital is of course still possible in these times. The fact that things are going so well is also due to the fact that you have “the right technologies at the right time”, explains Roland Busch.
He might as well have said that we are very happy not to have to worry about the wrong things at the wrong time.
For example, the frustrating permanent crisis of the wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa. Or the traditional activity of power plants, in which thousands of jobs are to be cut around the world. Both problems were created under Busch’s predecessor, Joe Kaeser, they are owned by Siemens Energy, that energy giant with 91,000 employees worldwide, which the parent company floated on the stock exchange last September and which has reached the Dax in March. The dismantling was unprecedented and risky because Siemens had thus cut its historical roots. Then-CEO Kaeser did it anyway because he believed that mixed industrial conglomerates had fallen in time and only clearly targeted companies would stand a chance in the market in the future. Along the same lines, he had already floated the medical technology business under the name Healthineers on the stock market in 2018, and it was not that he invented the game of outsourcing business divisions at Siemens. By the turn of the millennium, semiconductor business was split up under the name Infineon – too volatile, too insecure, it was thought at the time. Kaeser only took it to the extreme – and dismantled Siemens.
Thursday was euphoria at Siemens, the day before there was a bad mood at the former subsidiary Siemens Energy, which landed in the red due to problems in the wind energy sector. Profit tripled, results above plan? It would be good. Siemens here, Siemens Energy there – the simultaneity of events shows that Kaeser’s plan worked. It is not only the areas of activity of companies that are more targeted today. His concerns are now also focused. From the perspective of the former Siemens group, which still owns 35.1% of the energy technology company, the problems at Gamesa and in the power plant sector are now mainly: the problems of others and no longer directly theirs. .
This has a crazy charm for the Munich company. He can now devote himself fully to his activity related to the digitization of industry. And deals like the one the company announced on Thursday: Siemens is spending more than half a billion euros on a Dutch software platform for booking and selling tickets for train and bus travel – it looks like in the future, unlike coal-fired power plants.
And Siemens Energy? Cross-subsidies as in the old parent company no longer exist today, which makes it difficult for the newcomer to the stock exchange, but it pays off for the Siemens parent company and its shareholders. Since the Energy spin-off, Siemens shares have risen by around 40%. Siemens Energy shares, on the other hand, are almost back to their starting point in September 2020. Kaeser spoke on Twitter on Thursday. The former boss, now chairman of the supervisory board of Siemens Energy, congratulated the Siemens management board for the “excellent results”. He is “happy” that the strategy is bearing fruit. This will convince “the last skeptics” that it was right to build “a new Siemens”. “Happy shareholder today”, writes the former boss, “happier shareholder today”. The problems have separated, the share price has risen sharply – from this point of view, everything is going according to plan.