Ticker SIE

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As of 22:52 15 Feb 2019
Market cap. Euros
77,164.40 million
As of 22:52 15 Feb 2019

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Siemens-Alstom merger collapses

Siemens-Alstom merger announcement press conference in 2017
A press conference to announce the deal in 2017

A plan to merge Siemens and Alstom to create a European rail giant has collapsed after EU competition regulators blocked the deal.

The European Commission feared the tie-up would hurt competition and lead to higher prices for consumers.

“Without sufficient remedies, this merger would have resulted in higher prices for the signalling systems that keep passengers safe and for the next generations of very high-speed trains,” said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

Siemens and Alstom expressed disappointment, saying they had "addressed all the concerns raised by the Commission".

Siemens profits plunge by 49%

Siemens HQ
Getty Images

Siemens, the German industrial giant, has reported weaker-than-expected first quarter profit after profits at its power business plunged.

Group net income dropped by 49% to €1.1bn from €2.2bn in the same quarter last year. Revenues rose to €20.1bn from €19.8bn.

Siemens' power and gas business has been hit by collapsing demand as the global energy industry shifts towards renewable sources like wind and solar and away from fossil fuel power plants.

That part of the business reported a 50% drop in operating profits during the quarter.

Siemens says it still expects to complete its rail merger with France's Alstom in the first half of this year.

German business backing for May

Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens in the UK, is one of the delegates at the CBI conference backing Theresa May's Brexit plan. He contrasts the mood from last year's meeting

"It feels for the first time since we started the negotiations that we have an end game in sight. I remember being here last year and everything was incredibly uncertain where as we do now have the possibility of some certainty.

"The mood here is much more positive because what business like is certainty. There's almost a sense of relief in the room here".

'What we need is certainty'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Jürgen Maier

Jürgen Maier, the chief executive of Siemens UK, is in Liverpool today opening a new digital manufacturing initiative focused on 3D printing and robotics.

Siemens, a German firm, employs 15,000 people in the UK. It is concerned about Brexit, and feels the UK should take a leaf out of Germany's book and do more to support manufacturers and innovation.

"My gut feeling is we need to get behind [the draft agreement] and we need to make it work," he told the Today programme.

"It's been two very difficult years for manufacturers in the UK. What we need is certainty that we can continue to invest and trade properly here, and it looks to me like this is the only deal in town."