Europe's biggest industrial group Siemens forecasts a return to moderate sales growth in 2016. As Ciara Lee reports, it follows a year of transition in which it axed thousands of jobs and sold its last remaining consumer businesses, boosting profits.
It axed thousands of jobs and sold its last remaining consumer business this year - and the sacrifices seem to be paying off for Siemens. The German 'trains-to-turbines' group reported strong orders in its fourth quarter and is forecasting a moderate return to growth in 2016. Industrial profit also rose 9 percent. Panmure Gordon's David Buik says the company remains strong in its key markets. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON'S DAVID BUIK, SAYING: "It has a better relationship with China and a better relationship with India than anywhere else, which are the two main export markets for it. And providing that they can control their counterparts in these countries to do business, Siemens makes a great product and it will be fine." Siemens announced a new three-year share buyback of up to 3 billion euros and raised its dividend for 2015. CEO Joe Kaeser (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIEMENS PRESIDENT AND CEO, JOE KAESER, SAYING: "Well actually, we are looking for growth everywhere in the world. We are a very global company and we've been that for many, many years and have been increasing actually the sales force to an even more focused and global approach. But new euro zone figures were less enthusiastic. Industrial production shrank by more than expected in September due to a sharp fall in the output of consumer goods. Rabobank's Jane Foley. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JANE FOLEY, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, SAYING: "I do still think that there are risks to Chinese growth. We are seeing an awful lot of stimulus through from the government but we still have some structural issues in China that are still not addressed." Siemens has boasted it's the only one of its peers not to cut its outlook. Swiss engineering group ABB reduced its sales target in September because of low energy prices and the China slowdown. U.S. industrial group Honeywell has also warned on weak demand.