Siemens profits dip, announces share buyback
German engineering group Siemens reported a small rise in fourth-quarter revenue on Thursday and said it expected growth to pick up in 2014.
Adjusted revenues for the period came in at 21.17 billion euros ($28.6 billion), a 3 percent on the same period last year. Net profit fell to 1.07 billion euros, however, from 1.19 billion euros a year earlier. Excluding currency effects, incoming orders also rose 3 percent, the company said.
"We need to get even closer to our customers, to create demand so we can grow again," Joe Kaeser, president and chief executive officer of Siemens told CNBC Thursday. "The company has always said that we are in a transition period...now we need to look forward."
Kaeser added that operating margin was currently at 7.5 percent with Siemens looking to improve that margin during the course of 2014. The electronics and electrical engineering company will also look towards improving its operational excellence and focus on innovation and quality, he said.
(Read More: You're fired! Siemens replaces Loescher as CEO)
Siemens announced plans to carry out a share buyback of up to 4 billion euros within the next two years. It added that it expects its markets to remain challenging in 2014 but forecast earnings per share to rise at least 15 percent from this year's figure of 5.08 euros.
The German firm has had a torrid year with failed acquisitions and charges for project delays leading to profit warnings. Earnings have been hit in previous quarters with train deliveries and energy projects that have dragged.
A dramatic boardroom battle in July led to the confirmation that Chief Executive Peter Loescher resigning with Joe Kaeser, the company's Chief Financial Officer, being installed as the new CEO.
"Peter (Loescher) has done a great job to help the company out of its darkest moments," Kaeser told CNBC Thursday. "(It was) working well over the last five or six years....now I guess it's the time look forward and leave the past alone."
Siemens agreed to sell parts of its water technologies unit to private equity group AEA Investors for 640 million euros ($862.4 million) on Tuesday. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, the company said on Wednesday.
By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter @mattclinch81