ZURICH (Reuters) – Siemens is ramping up its spending on research and development above its rivals, Chief Executive Roland Busch will tell the German engineering group’s shareholders next week.

The maker of trains and factory automation software will spend 5.5 billion euros ($6.21 billion) developing new products and services this year, Busch will say, according to the text of a speech he is due to give at the upcoming annual general meeting seen by Reuters.

That represents an increase from the 4.9 billion euros Siemens spent on research and development in 2021, corresponding to 7.8% of sales that year and “more than any of our direct competitors,” according to the remarks prepared for the annual general meeting.

“This year we are a planning on 5.5 billion euros, which would amount to 8% of our sales,” adds the CEO, who took over from longstanding boss Joe Kaeser in February 2021.

Siemens holds its AGM on Feb. 10, the same day it reports first quarter 2022 earnings.

($1 = 0.8862 euros)

(Reporting by John Revill; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)