Business activity in China has recovered rapidly from the beginning of the coronavirus health crisis, the CEO of one of Europe’s largest manufacturers told CNBC on Thursday.
“China has been able to recover very, very quickly from the origins of the crisis. In our business, China is actually up compared to last year’s period, so we have seen higher numbers of demand when we previously saw the crisis,” Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens, told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach.
Between April and June, Chinese orders increased by 6% compared to a year ago. All other jurisdictions in which Siemens operates, with the exception of Germany, recorded a decrease in the number of orders during the same period.
Siemens reported Thursday̵
Other highlights for the quarter:
- Revenue hit EUR 13.5 billion – 5% lower than a year ago.
- Free cash flow jumped to EUR 2.5 billion from EUR 434 million a year ago.
“All devices, but especially Siemens Mobility, contributed to this significant improvement,” the German company said in a statement of 200% increased cash flow. This is supported by the move to stop certain operations, which resulted in a positive free cash flow of EUR 433 million and a series of asset management measures at Siemens Energy, it said.
For the rest of the year, Siemens expects that the ongoing economic crisis as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will continue to affect its operations.
“Going forward, there is some volatility associated with the likelihood that we will see a second wave,” Kaeser said.
However, the company still plans to complete the spin-off and public listing of Siemens Energy before the end of the financial year.