ABB triples second quarter profit

The Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB reported on Thursday that its second-quarter net profit had nearly tripled over last year to reach 367 million dollars.

The result was fuelled by strong demand in the power and automation sectors, ABB said in a statement.

Overall orders reached 7.28 billion dollars, a 19 percent increase over the equivalent quarter in 2005, it added.

The engineering giant’s financial performance exceeded analysts’ expectations of a net profit in the range of 308 million to 358 million dollars.

“We are clearly benefiting from the strong global demand for improved power infrastructure and increased industrial efficiency,” said ABB president and chief executive Fred Kindle.

“On top of that, our efforts to further improve our business performance continue to pay off and we look forward to a solid second half,” he added.

Demand for power transmission and distribution infrastructure is expected to continue growing in Asia and the Middle East this year, ABB said.

Equipment replacement and improved reliability for overburdened power grids were expected to be the key drivers of higher demand in Europe and North America.

Automation-related industrial investments were forecast to continue in booming commodity and transport sectors: metals and minerals, marine and oil and gas, especially in Asia.

However, ABB warned that it was also vulnerable to the impact of price volatility for oil and other commodities, and further political instability in the Middle East.