ABB bucks slow markets with record sales in 2013

ABB bucks slow markets with record sales in 2013
ABB, the Swiss engineering firm, on Thursday reported record revenues for 2013 and a three percent in increase in net profit to $2.78 billion from the previous year.

The Zurich-based power and automation technologies giant said revenues last year rose six percent to $41.8 billion, a new high.

Net profit for the fourth quarter declined by 13 percent, however, to $525 million and the company’s power systems division was hit by delays in large projects.

“These solid results, delivered in a mixed business climate and despite the setback in Power Systems, show the strength of ABB and our global team,” ABB Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer said in a statement.

“Our expanded product and geographic scope enabled us to increase profitability in automation, while we continued to generate market-leading returns in Power Products,” said Spiesshofer, a German who was appointed CEO of the company last year.

“We are confident Power Systems will deliver higher, more consistent returns once certain legacy projects have been executed and actions to improve risk and project management are complete.”

The company’s board is proposing to boost the dividend to 70 cents a share from 68 cents.

Spiesshofer said ABB has a strong financial position and a “clear action plan” for 2014, although he warned the company is being impacted by “the slower than originally expected global economic recovery”.

The plan calls for organic growth, further costs savings, high cash flow generation and more consistent returns in power systems.

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