ABB proposes to raise dividend on the back of solid growth and near-record cash flow

(PresseBox) ( Zurich, Switzerland, )
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Full-year 2012 orders and revenues higher despite difficult business climate
Continued growth in automation supported by Thomas & Betts acquisition
Power Products with solid operational EBITDA margin in a tough environment
Continued robust free cash flow generation

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

“We again showed we can deliver consistent results through the cycle,” said ABB Chief Executive Officer Joe Hogan. “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[1], we delivered a decent top line and profitability in a tough market.

“Furthermore, we addressed critical issues in our power businesses with a one-off charge of about $350 million so we can continue to deliver best-in-class returns more consistently,” Hogan said. “We also executed on our strategy to develop disruptive technologies, particularly in direct current power applications, with promising growth opportunities ahead. And thanks to our solid cash generation, we can once again propose an increased dividend to shareholders.

“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,” Hogan said. “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. But we’ve demonstrated over the past few years our ability to compete successfully and deliver steady revenues and earnings through turbulent times, and we’re 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.”

The complete press release including the appendices is available at http://www.abb.com/news
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