ABB second-quarter income rises 43%

  • July 21, 2011
  • ABB
  • News

July 21, 2011 – ABB reported a 43-percent increase in second-quarter net income to $893 million amid strong industrial growth, higher earnings in the Power Systems division and the contribution from recent acquisitions, especially Baldor Electric. Revenues rose 17 percent and orders increased 18 percent from the second quarter of last year, with growth in both mature and emerging markets. Customer investments aimed at increasing operational efficiency translated into strong demand for robots, energy-efficient motors and low-voltage systems in the second quarter, while capacity expansions and the need for service drove higher orders in the oil and gas, pulp and paper, metals and marine sectors. Increasing requirements for electricity in industry and general economic growth, especially in the emerging markets, drove demand for power distribution solutions. Transmission-related investments, which generally come later in the economic cycle, remained at low levels. A key measure of profitability – operational EBITDA – increased 22 percent on the strong revenue growth. The operational EBITDA margin declined on a combination of higher investments in sales and R&D, price erosion in the power business that was not fully offset by cost savings, and a less favorable revenue mix in the automation segments. Cash from operations rose significantly. “This was a strong quarter where we continued to execute well, driving further revenue growth, cash generation and a solid increase in shareholder returns,” said Joe Hogan, ABB’s CEO. “We’re pleased with the growth and results in the quarter and for the first half of the year.” “Looking ahead, it’s clear that macroeconomic concerns around public debt and inflation have increased recently. However, based on what we know today, we continue to expect strong demand for productivity and energy efficiency solutions in industry and a recovery in power transmission demand in the second half of the year.” Summary of Q2 2011 results Orders received and revenues Demand for ABB products that boost energy efficiency, industrial productivity and power reliability continued to grow in the second quarter, resulting in higher orders received in all divisions compared to the same quarter in 2010. The Discrete Automation and Motion division recorded the strongest growth, up more than 60 percent in local currencies on strong orders from Baldor Electric—acquired in the first quarter of 2011—and also reflecting good growth in the robotics and drives businesses. Excluding Baldor Electric, the division recorded a 25-percent increase in orders. Orders were higher in Low Voltage Products, mainly on increased demand for low-voltage systems to improve electrical efficiency in industry. The Process Automation division saw orders up 15 percent as increasing commodity prices continued to drive customer investments in new capacity and services to improve the productivity of existing assets, especially in the oil and gas, pulp and paper and marine sectors. Orders rose 4 percent in Power Products, with both utility and industrial demand improving. Continuing investments by utilities to expand and upgrade their power grids fuelled an 11-percent order increase in the Power Systems division. Orders grew most in the Americas, mainly reflecting the acquisition of Baldor Electric, but also the result of strong growth in South America. Orders were also higher in both eastern and western Europe, while Asian growth was led by India (up almost 40 percent). Orders in China grew 4 percent compared to the same quarter in 2010. On an organic basis (excluding the recent acquisitions of U.S.-based Ventyx and Baldor Electric), orders grew in both mature and emerging economies, up 6 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Base orders (below $15 million) increased 18 percent (8 percent organic) and were up in all divisions. Base orders in Power Products increased for the third consecutive quarter and were 6 percent higher than the first quarter of 2011. Large orders (above $15 million) increased 19 percent in the quarter and represented 12 percent of total orders, roughly the same as in the year-earlier period. The order backlog at the end of June reached $30 billion, a local-currency increase of 9 percent (8 percent organic) compared to the year-earlier period and flat versus the end of the first quarter of 2011. Revenues continued growing and were higher in all divisions. The growth reflects the execution of the very strong order backlog, higher sales of short cycle products and services as well as a contribution of approximately $600 million from acquisitions4. Excluding acquisitions, revenues rose by 9 percent. Earnings and net income EBIT in the second quarter of 2011 amounted to $1.3 billion, a 37-percent increase compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue growth, including the impact from acquisitions, was the main contributor to the improvement. As part of the company’s previously-announced $1-billion cost savings initiative for 2011, savings of approximately $270 million were achieved in the quarter, of which about 50 percent were derived from optimized sourcing. For the first six months of 2011, savings amounted to approximately $480 million. Costs associated with the program in the second quarter amounted to approximately $30 million and were immaterial in the first quarter. Operational EBITDA in the second quarter of 2011 amounted to $1.5 billion, an increase of 22 percent over the year-earlier period. Acquisitions contributed approximately $115 million to operational EBITDA. The operational EBITDA margin decline partly reflects an increase of almost $90 million in investment in research and development and selling expenses to tap growth opportunities and secure the company’s technology advantage. The operational EBITDA margin in Power Products was also lower compared to the very high level in the second quarter of 2010. In addition, the operational EBITDA margin in Low Voltage Products decreased as a result of rapid increases in silver prices that could not immediately be compensated by higher prices initiated during the quarter along with a higher proportion of systems revenues in the total revenue mix. Net income for the quarter grew 43 percent to almost $900 million and resulted in basic earnings per share of $0.39 compared to $0.27 in the year-earlier period.   

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