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Germany's Siemens to cut 4,500 more jobs as earnings slip

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Siemens says it will cut another 4,500 jobs to streamline its business and improve profitability.

The announcement came Thursday as the maker of heavy industrial equipment announced that core earnings fell 5 percent to 1.66 billion ($1.87 billion) in the first three months of the year compared with the same period a year ago.

Profits from its division that makes electricity-generating turbines fell due to low prices and higher expenses for developing new models.

Siemens had already announced in February that it was dropping 7,800 jobs, 3,300 of them in Germany. It said Thursday that the job losses in Germany had been reduced to 2,900 after negotiations with employee representatives.

Munich-based Siemens AG had 342,000 employees in more than 200 countries at the end of the quarter.

Revenues rose 8 percent to 18.0 billion euros, strongly boosted by foreign exchange shifts like the euro's weakening against other currencies. Without the currency effect, revenues were flat. Orders, a key indicator of business strength in coming quarters, rose 16 percent, boosted by 1.7 billion euros in orders for regional trains and maintenance in Germany.

"For business volume, we performed well in our markets. The profitability of our industrial Business shows that we must still improve some businesses," said CEO Joe Kaeser.

Net profit rose sharply to 3.91 billion euros from 1.15 billion euros a year ago due to large, one-time gains from the sale of the company's hearing-aid business, its stake in its home appliances joint business with Bosch, and its hospital information business.

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