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Siemens has turned in some results for its fiscal Q1 (to 31 December) which look very good from a headline viewpoint ("nearly doubles earnings in first quarter") but they don't tell us anything about the financial health of Fujitsu Siemens, in which Siemens holds 50 per cent. The deconsolidation of cable units, Siemens Nixdorf retail and banking systems and the PC business resulted in lower product sales for Siemens, but saw earnings before tax and interest rise to 189 million euros from the previous 43 million euros. Siemens still has an information and communications networks segment that is busy with mobile telephone sales, which were 11 million last year and are expected to be 30 million this year. The small Siemens services business made a small pre-tax-and-interest profit of 10 million euros after a loss of 22 million euros in the previous quarter. Infineon remains the most profitable Siemens group, yielding 245 million euros for the quarter on revenue of 1.8 billion euros. The former semiconductors group will be the subject of a further report on Friday, with the probability that between 25 and 30 percent will be put on the market in March, although this has not yet been finally decided. So far as the Fujitsu Siemens business is concerned, 1.11 million business and consumer PCs were shipped in the first three months of the joint operation (ending 31 December). Sales were strong in France, Italy and the Netherlands, but in the UK, although there was "some growth" there were "unfavourable market conditions in the corporate segment". With only percentage increases in sales being disclosed, and some information from just one quarter of combined operations, it is too soon to see whether the joint company is making any real progress in its avowed ambition to be the number one computer company in Europe by 2001. New products are being lined up for announcement at Cebit (at the end of February this year), with the company hoping to get 250 million euros of sales there. ®

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