ABB expects supply bottlenecks to remain a brake on growth

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Man takes pictures of logo of Swiss power technology and automation group ABB ahead of a news conference to present full year results in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: A man takes pictures of the logo of Swiss power technology and automation group ABB ahead of a news conference to present the company’s full year results, in Zurich, Switzerland, February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Moritz Hager

February 3, 2022

ZURICH (Reuters) -ABB reported better-than-expected profit during its fourth quarter on Thursday as the Swiss engineering group saw significantly higher demand but was held back by ongoing disruptions in its supply chain.

The maker of fast chargers for electric vehicles and industrial drives for factories reported net income of $2.64 billion, beating expectations for $2.42 billion in a company gathered consensus of analyst forecasts.

Operating earnings before interest, tax, and amortisation (EBITA) increased 20% to $988 million, better than forecasts of $983 million.

But despite orders increased by 18%, revenues increased more slowly by 5% to $7.57 billion as the company wrestled with an ongoing supply chain bottlenecks.

Industry has been hampered in its post-pandemic upturn by a shortage of components, particularly semiconductor chips, as well as bunged up logistic chains which has delayed production of cars, computers and other products.

ABB Chief Executive Bjorn Rosengren said the shortages were set to remain in the start of the 2022, but ABB would benefit from its big order backlog – which stands at $16.6 billion – as the year progressed.

ABB is one of the first of the global capital goods makers to report its figures, which give an insight into the health of global industry. Rivals Siemens, and Schneider are due to report in the next two weeks.

(Reporting by John Revill, editing by Kirsti Knolle and Michael Shields)

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