ABB sees profits soar

Swiss engineering giant ABB on Thursday reported a 24 percent rise in net profit for 2011 to $3.2 billion while forecasting a tough start to 2012.

Revenues increased 20 percent to $38 billion and operational EBITDA, the measure of profitability tracked by management, rose 25 percent to $6 billion, the company said in a statement.

“We continued to execute well in the fourth quarter, especially on our cost savings and project execution, allowing us to report record revenues and solid earnings in a volatile market environment,” said chief executive Joe Hogan.

“At the same time, an unfavorable business mix and ongoing price pressure out of the order backlog will likely weigh on profit margins in the first quarter.”

Hogan said he was more optimistic about the rest of the year.

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