Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, predicted LEDs, will outgrow the current global market for illumination.
The market for LEDs will triple to almost 13 billion euros by 2012 as they move from illuminating mobile phones and cars to streets and homes, Siemens said in a press release 24 Dec., citing market researchers. Osram, the Munich-based company’s lighting division, today generates 15 % of its sales with LED technology, making it No. 2 in that market, according to Wellingborough, England-based IMS Research.
Governments are discouraging the use of conventional light bulbs, which turn only 5 % to 10 % of the energy used into light and have 12 times shorter life spans than LEDs. To help reach its target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions 20 % by 2020 from 1990 levels, the European Union in September started to phase out conventional clear incandescent light bulbs of 100 watts or more. By 2012, other models such as frosted bulbs and high-energy halogen lights will also be prohibited.
Osram sales fell 13 %to 4.04 billion Euros in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the second annual decline. Earnings tumbled 78 % to 89 million Euros as Siemens booked charges to reduce capacity and wrote down the value of its inventories. “Osram reached bottom,” CTO Peter Loescher said on Dec. 3.
Osram’s 2.2% operating margin last year missed its profitability target of 10 % to 12 % by the largest margin among Siemens’s six industry divisions. It was the only industry division to lose money in the fourth quarter.
Osram is the world’s second-largest lighting company, trailing only Royal Philips Electronics NV.
General Electric Co. said it July it will close its last U.S. factory making common household incandescent light bulbs as demand rises for more energy-efficient lighting.
Siemens shares rose 1.9 % to 62.87 Euros at 11:48 a.m. in Frankfurt trading for a market value of 57.5 billion Euros.