German engineering giant Siemens said Wednesday it is targeting an increase of at least 15 percent in earnings per share this year even though the strong euro is hurting sales. Siemens, which runs its business year from October to September, said in a statement that its performance in the second quarter was "mixed." "Profit in the second quarter was considerably higher than in the comparable prior-year period. A strong euro took four percentage points from order development and revenue growth," Siemens complained. In the period from January to March, Siemens' net profit rose by 12 percent to 1.153 billion euros ($1.6 billion). Underlying or operating profit was up 19 percent at 1.163 billion euros. Revenues, on the other hand, fell by 2.0 percent to 17.449 billion euros and orders were down 13 percent at 18.43 billion euros. "The second quarter showed that we still have a lot to do to improve our operating performance. Nevertheless we are on course to reach our targets for the fiscal year," said chief executive Joe Kaeser. Siemens said expects its markets "to remain challenging in fiscal 2014." The company's short-cycle businesses "are not anticipating a sustainable recovery until late in the fiscal year," it said. "Assuming that revenue on an organic basis remains level year-over-year, Siemens expects basic earnings per share for fiscal 2014 to grow by at least 15 percent from 5.08 euros per share in fiscal 2013," it said. CEO Kaeser, at the helm for nine months, is to unveil his strategy for turning Siemens around later on Wednesday and is expected to discuss the company's current bid for French group Alstom. Siemens is competing with US giant General Electric for the Alstom's energy operations. Late Tuesday, Siemens announced that it is acquiring the gas turbine and compressor business of Rolls-Royce for £785 million (950 million euros) in order to strengthen its position in the growing oil and gas industry.