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Outlook remains uncertain for ABB

Swiss-based engineering group ABB has raised its cost savings programme by 50 per cent to $3 billion (SFr3.24 billion) as customers remain hesitant to invest.

However, the company, which makes power grids and robots, reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $540 million, 154 per cent higher than in the comparable period last year.

For the year as a whole, ABB posted net profit of $2.9 billion, seven per cent lower than 2008.

“By acting quickly and decisively, we delivered a 2009 result well within our profitability target, despite the worst recession in memory,” said chief executive Joe Hogan.

“We are in a stronger position today than we were a year ago and have successfully positioned ourselves for growth as the economy recovers.”

In a statement from its Zurich headquarters, ABB confirmed the targets in its five-year plan, which ends in 2011. It is aiming for revenue growth of eight to 11 per cent and a margin on earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) of 11-16 per cent. and agencies


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