Siemens' profits slump on project delays
German industrial giant Siemens has reported a sharp fall in profits after the eurozone debt crisis forced customers to delay certain projects.
Net profit for the final three months of 2011 was 1.46bn euros ($1.9bn; £1.2bn), down 17% on a year earlier. Revenue was up 2% at 17.9bn euros.
"The uncertainties of the ongoing debt crisis have left their mark on the real economy," said boss Peter Loescher.
Siemens' shares closed down 1.3% by the end of trading in Frankfurt.
Mr Loescher said project delays, particularly in connecting offshore wind power, had hit profits but he expected to see a recovery from April. Overall, however, 2012 would "not be an easy year", he said.
"The real economy cannot escape the effects of the volatility on the financial markets, public budgets are increasingly strained, anxiety about credit bottlenecks is dampening willingness to invest and global economic growth is levelling off," he told reporters.
New orders fell by 5% in the three-month period compared with a year earlier.
Orders from the energy sector were hit particularly hard, falling 11% despite a sharp rise in orders for renewable energy technologies.
Siemens makes a wide range of industrial products, including trains, wind turbines and transmission equipment.
The performance of the company is seen by some as an indicator of the health of the global economy.