Global utility performance mixed but industrial, transport and infrastructure all positive
Strong demand from the UAE helped ABB’s Asia, Middle East and Africa division orders grow by 11% (when converted to US dollars) in Q2 2018.
In its Q2 results statement, the Swiss-Swedish corporation revealed that its overall total orders increased by 14% (again converted in US dollars) with the firm stating that growth was up in all divisions and regions compared to Base orders (classified as orders below $15 million) increased 14% (in USD), up in all divisions and regions. Large orders represented 7% of total orders, compared to 8% in the same quarter of 2017. ABB’s comprehensive digital offering, ABB Ability, was a significant contributor to the quarter’s order growth. In addition to the UAE, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) demand was driven by China and India Base orders rose 7%.
“In the second quarter, we drove order growth in all divisions and across all regions. Through our continued productivity efforts, we delivered margin improvement and double-digit operational EPS growth,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “We completed the acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions within the committed time-frame and have started the integration at full speed together with our new colleagues.”
Looking at growth in key segments, ABB said utility demand was mixed in the second quarter. Activity related to grid integration for renewables and investments in improving grid reliability, particularly through digitalization, continued to grow. Larger grid investments, for example in long distance transmission, remained subdued.
Industrial demand meanwhile “grew well” across a broad customer base in the quarter: “Process industries, including oil and gas and mining, continued to increase investments, with capex concentrated on upgrading and automating brown-field assets. An ongoing focus on select industries such as food and beverage and automotive, proved beneficial for order momentum, particularly ABB’s automation and robotics solutions,” said ABB.
Transport and infrastructure demand was solid, with good orders received for rail electrification, from the construction sector and in specialty vessels, the company added. Highlights for the quarter include continued strong growth in data centres and for electric vehicle fast-charging solutions.
“With disciplined focus on relentless execution, our four divisions are continuing their drive towards world-class efficiency and effectiveness,” said Spiesshofer. “These results show that our transformation over the past years is delivering.”