ABB earnings decline in ‘tough market’

Swiss-Swedish engineering giant ABB said on Thursday that net profit dropped 15 percent in 2012 to $2.7 billion from the previous year, but insisted it had held its ground in a tough market.

ABB earnings decline in 'tough market'

ABB, whose headline products include power transformers, said that its earnings before interest and taxes fell by 13 percent to $4 billion from the 2011 figure.

The group — whose main rivals include Germany's Siemens and France's Alstom — underlined that sales increased four percent to reach $39.3 billion.

"We again showed we can deliver consistent results through the cycle," ABB's chief executive officer, Joe Hogan, said in a statement.

"We delivered a decent top line and profitability in a tough market," he added.

ABB's order book remained relatively stable at $40.2 billion.

"Looking ahead, the fundamental long-term drivers of our business, such as growing electricity consumption, urbanization and industrialization in emerging markets, growth in renewables and the need to increase energy and resource efficiency all remain intact," said Hogan.

"In the short term, there are still a lot of questions around the pace of growth in Europe and the US and the timing of the rebound in China," he warned.

"But weve demonstrated over the past few years our ability to compete successfully and deliver steady revenues and earnings through turbulent times, and were very confident that we can continue to do so.
"That means well continue to be conservative on costs while making sure we are in position to outperform as the market environment improves."

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