SeekingAlpha.com recently published a transcript of a conference call that ABB CEO Joe Hogan had with investment analysts to discuss the company’s fourth-quarter 2012 financial results. Following is an excerpt of some of his comments during that call that relate to ABB’s global expansion plans.
“We continued to position ourselves to capture opportunities arising from the emerging economies, including China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. We have the strongest and deepest emerging markets presence among our peers with a whole value chain embedded in these local markets, and we feel that gives us a significant advantage of being closer to the market and being able to move at the speed of these local markets.
“We’re also investing in countries like United States, Sweden and Switzerland. We’ve taken steps to build our core business through our region-by-region strategy. And then I have talked before about we’re pushing hard on our DC technology, not just with circuit breakers, but also with DC technology in areas like ships and also data centers.
“The political transition in China slowed down some decision-making around infrastructure investments, and we saw lower power orders. Automation demand fared a little better, especially with low-voltage products and also process automation. We had a weak year in India, partly on the difficult comparison with the $900 million North-East Agra order that we booked in the fourth quarter of last year. Brazil is up double digits in all divisions, and power orders related to wind and rail, oil and gas and drilling ships were all very strong.
“In the U.K., the biggest increase was in low-voltage products. We had double-digit growth in all divisions except Power Systems. The strength in the U.K. this year really surprised us in the sense that we look at it year-on-year. And our team has been executing well there and given the state of that economy, we’re really pleased with our performance there.
“In Canada, we have a very large T&B exposure now, and double-digit growth across most businesses, including a big rectifier order for $55 million on a FACTS order that we received. In Italy, it’s no surprise that it’s lower in all divisions except for process automation. I think it reflects more the weak macroeconomic environment there that we all know. And in Norway, down a little bit. It reflected a big offshore oil order that we had last year, but Norway continued strong for us overall.”