Siemens in solar panels setback

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The Independent Online

Siemens, the German industrial giant, reported a 12 per cent slump in profits for the fourth quarter of 2012 and warned that the economy was set to remain weak this year.

The German industrial bellwether had a €1.2bn (£1bn) profit for the three months to 31 December, which was dragged down by a €150m loss at its solar panels-making business, which saw increased competition from Asia as global demand fell.

The engineering group, which makes products from fast trains to hearing aids, said demand for factory equipment was unlikely to pick up until late this year, given the eurozone debt crisis, a tentative US recovery and slowing growth in China.