ABB reports solid growth for 2012

ABB of Zurich, Switzerland, reported higher orders and revenues for the full-year 2012, a solid performance on operational EBITDA, and a year of cash flow generation as the manufacturer continued to capture profitable growth opportunities in a weak business environment while further improving productivity.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, ABB’s revenues were $11.021 million USD – up 4% over $10.571 million recorded during the same period in 2011. The company’s year-end sales came in at $39.336 million, an increase of 4% over the $37.990 million it reported for 2011. Total revenues increased in the fourth quarter, reflecting the contribution of approximately $600 million from Thomas & Betts. On an organic basis, ABB’s revenues were down 1%.

ABB increased its orders by 4% during the fourth quarter of 2012, with base orders (those below $15 million) coming in at the same level on an organic basis as in the fourth quarter of 2011. Industrial demand for more energy efficient production technologies and the need to deliver more electricity through existing power grids remained the key growth drivers.

Orders in the Americas increased on both an organic (22%) and inorganic basis (42%). Orders grew at a double-digit pace in North America and Brazil in the quarter, driven both by utility demand for grid upgrades as well as broad industrial demand in both North and South America.

In Europe, orders grew 3% in the fourth quarter. Power orders led the gains, partly due to high- voltage subsea cable orders in Norway and Finland. Orders were also up in Eastern Europe, Italy and France, offsetting lower demand in Germany and the UK.
ABB reported a record cash flow from operations of $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter, including an increase of cash from operations from the divisions of approximately $300 million versus the same quarter in 2011. The company’s operational EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $1.4 billion, 12% lower than the year-earlier period.

The manufacturer’s net income for the quarter decreased 27% to $604 million and included $341 million of depreciation and amortization, of which $107 million of amortization was related to acquisitions.

“We again showed we can deliver consistent results through the cycle,” said ABB CEO Joe Hogan, in a press release. “We took significant actions in 2012 to adjust our geographic and portfolio balance, especially with the acquisition of Thomas & Betts to further build our position in the large and growing North American market. Also on an organic basis, we delivered a decent top line and profitability in a tough market.”

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