Earnings at industrial conglomerate Siemens fell by 12% in the three months from October to December.

The decline came after the company took charges at its transport business and a solar power operation it is selling.

Siemens reported net earnings of €1.21 billion in its fiscal first quarter, down from €1.38 billion a year earlier.

However, its revenue climbed 2% to €18.13 billion despite a 3% drop in orders to 19.14 billion.

"In an uncertain economic environment, we got off to a solid start in fiscal 2013," chief executive Peter Loescher said.

He cautioned that the global economy was unlikely to help out over the rest of the year to help the company reach its "ambitious goals."

In November, Siemens launched a cost-cutting programme and productivity push aimed at saving €6 billion by 2014 and increasing competitiveness. Loescher said the company's "full attention is on implementing" the programme.

During the October to December quarter, Siemens said it would sell its solar business and concentrate its renewable energy focus on wind and water power.

Its first-quarter earnings were hit by a €150m loss from the solar business and charges at its transport business totaled €116m amid delays in the delivery of trains to Germany's national railway.