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Siemens to shed over 7,000 jobs

BERLIN — Industrial conglomerate Siemens AG said Monday it will shed more than 7,000 jobs in Germany by slimming or shuttering three unprofitable units in an attempt to improve earnings.

The company said 2,400 jobs would go at Siemens Business Services by September 2007, aimed at reducing its annual costs at that division by 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion).

Siemens also said it would dissolve its logistics and assembly systems unit on Oct. 1, spinning off struggling parts of the business with 5,000 employees. It said there would be more job cuts at its telecommunications equipment division.

About 164,000 of Siemens' worldwide work force of 430,000 are employed in Germany.

Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld, who took over the Munich-based company in January, has won praise for shedding its unprofitable mobile phone unit along with 6,000 employees. BenQ of Taiwan is taking over that business.

But mounting losses at SBS and the two other units highlighted the need for more restructuring at the company, which makes everything from power plants and mail sorting machines to high-speed trains and light bulbs.

Losses at SBS alone widened to 109 million euros ($133 million) in the three months through June, compared with 2 million euros in the year-earlier period.

"We are taking the necessary measures," Kleinfeld said. "Only successful businesses secure and create jobs."

He declined to say how many jobs could also go at Siemens telecoms division, but labor representatives said they feared that between 3,000 and 4,000 positions will be cut.