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ABB outperforms profit prediction

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ABB outperforms profit prediction
10:52 CET+01:00
Swiss-Swedish engineering giant ABB said on Thursday that net profit had shrunk by 15 percent in 2012 to $2.7 billion, but insisted it had held its ground in a 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 Swedish TT news agency reported that the company's last quarter profit of $863 million outperformed a Reuters prediction of $841 million.

The group, whose main rivals include Germany's Siemens and France's Alstom, underlined that sales had meanwhile grown by 4 percent to reach $39 billion.

"We again showed we can deliver consistent results," ABB CEO Joe Hogan said in a statement.

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

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 we've 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 we'll continue to be conservative on costs while making sure we are in position to outperform as the market environment improves."

AFP/The Local/at

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