ABB reports $41.5 billion in sales | Automation.com

ABB reports $41.5 billion in sales

February 5, 2015 - ABB continued to drive its organic growth initiatives in 2014 and delivered 9-percent order growth (10 percent like-for-like). Orders were steady to higher in all regions and divisions despite a challenging market environment. Large orders (above $15 million) grew 50 percent. Base orders were 4 percent higher (5 percent like-for-like) and grew in each quarter of the year. The order backlog grew 5 percent and the book-to-bill ratio improved to 1.04x from 0.93x compared to the end of 2013.

“Through our organic growth initiatives and continued focused investments in innovation and sales, we grew orders faster than the market in a highly volatile environment,” said CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “This resulted in a stronger order backlog heading into 2015. Our customer satisfaction score NPS again went up, to 44, reflecting that our customers appreciate the many efforts we take in improving customer service every day.”

Revenues and operational EBITDA were lower due to the lower opening order backlog and project-related charges in Power Systems, but strong business execution resulted in higher full-year operating cash flow generation. Successful implementation of the ‘step change’ program to reposition the Power Systems division for a return to long-term consistent growth and profitability resulted in a full-year break-even operational EBITDA for the division. The operational EBITDA margin in the Discrete Automation and Motion division was impacted by the dilutive effect of the Power-One acquisition completed in the second half of 2013. Excluding that effect, the comparable operational EBITDA margin was slightly higher.

“We delivered on our ambition to achieve a break even result for Power Systems for the full year,” Spiesshofer continued. “The other divisions all generated steady comparable margins. We improved cash generation, and for the 6th consecutive year took out more than $1 billion in costs which shows that our relentless execution focus is really paying off.”

Net income was $2.6 billion and basic earnings per share was $1.13. Successful measures to improve net working capital management contributed to higher cash from operations and free cash flow conversion and supported an increased cash return on investment (CROI) of 12.7 percent.In 2014, the company returned more than $2.8 billion in cash to shareholders through share repurchases and the annual dividend. For 2014, the Board has proposed a dividend increase to 0.72 Swiss francs compared to 0.70 Swiss francs for the previous year. The proposal is subject to approval by shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on April 30, 2015.

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