Automation in Africa, Asia and the Middle East is booming, ABB CEO says


Swiss engineering giant ABB is seeing strong growth momentum in developing markets ranging from Asia to Africa, the president and chief executive told CNBC Thursday.

“Asia, Middle East and Africa is really performing very well,” ABB’s Ulrich Spiesshofer told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” Thursday, following the company’s first-quarter earnings report that showed a 20 percent increase in orders in those regions.

“The infrastructure needs but also the upgrade and the industry side (have done well), and the investment in automation — not only in robotics — have made for a very strong quarter, and I’m very pleased with that performance,” he added.

Spiesshofer’s comments come after the maker of industrial robots and power grids reported a better-than-expected first quarter net profit of $572 million, beating forecasts of $562 million in a Reuters poll of analysts. Revenue also rose above forecasts, to $8.63 billion, above an expected $8.39 billion.

The results showed regional differences in orders. Total orders in Europe were down 3 percent, numbers in the Americas were stable, but they were particularly strong for Asia, the Middle East and Africa — with orders up 20 percent. Both large and base orders developed positively in China, India and the United Arab Emirates, ABB said in its earnings report.



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