Monday (8/24) on, Catherine Hickley reports, “Siemens AG, which sponsors the Bayreuth and Salzburg music festivals, said it will maintain an annual budget of about 50 million euros ($72 million) for aid, education and arts patronage, even as orders for the company’s products tumble. ‘Total support is expected to remain at last year’s level,’ Stephan Heimbach, head of corporate communications and government affairs, said in an e-mailed response to written questions. ‘Our social activities have a stable, long-term foundation and are not a dispensable quantity in an economically difficult environment.’ Siemens, Europe’s biggest engineering company, in July reported a decline of 28 percent in third-quarter orders to 17.2 billion euros. The company cut 17,000 jobs last year and has placed 15,000 workers on reduced hours. Cultural sponsoring accounts for between 5 million euros and 10 million euros of the 50 million euros the company spends on social projects in total, Heimbach said.”

Posted August 25, 2009