March 20, 2020 / 8:53 AM / 18 days ago

Siemens says Chinese operations almost back to normal after virus outbreak

ZURICH, March 20 (Reuters) - Siemens’s factories in China are almost back to normal operation, Chief Executive Joe Kaeser said on Friday, although the German engineering company expects an impact from the coronavirus epidemic on its second-quarter figures.

Its factories in China — where it generates a tenth of sales — are running at 95% of their pre-outbreak levels, Kaeser told reporters, while all but two of Siemens’ factories globally were open.

“We observe the supply chain very closely - both the supply of our products and components to customers and the supplies to us. Both are running well, but that can change any day,” Kaeser said.

Siemens had no final forecast how the outbreak would hit its business, but it would not be unaffected in the short term, Kaeser said.

“We are a strong business with good liquidity,” said Kaeser, noting that service work for example on power stations or buildings was particularly volatile at present. (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)

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