Q1 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/27/2011

Operator: Good afternoon. I'm Stephanie, the Corus call operator for this conference. Welcome to the ABB First Quarter 2011 Results Analyst and Investor Conference Call. Please note that for the duration of the presentation all participants will be in listen-only mode and the conference is being recorded. A broadcast of this call will be available for one month following the conference. This call must not be recorded for publication or broadcast.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Joe Hogan, CEO of ABB. Please go ahead sir.

Joseph Hogan - CEO: Good afternoon and thanks for joining us today to discuss our first quarter 2011 results. As always my comments on this call refer to the presentation that you likely have already downloaded from website at

Please refer to Chart 2 for our Safe Harbor text covering any forward-looking statements we want to make today. So moving onto Chart 3. So let's start with a summary of our first quarter performance on this chart. One thing that came through again this quarter was how our leading market positions and lean cost base continued to pay off.

Industrial spending remained high fueling momentum in both of our Automation and Power businesses. With commodity priced on the rise, our Automation customers continued to expand capacity, invested in more energy efficient technologies and improved productivity.

Utility customers were also more active investing in grid interconnections, the integration of renewable energies and in the power distribution into the grid where higher industrial activity is driving greater demand for electricity. For ABB that's translated into organic order growth of about 19% or 25% including the impact of acquisitions mainly our recent Baldor acquisition.

A little bit later in the presentation I'll update you regarding those acquisitions, but keep in mind that we closed the Baldor transaction at the end of January. So there is basically two months of activity included in this year's first quarter results.

Back to the group information, while large orders were up 20%, our base orders increased 25% to reach the highest level since the second quarter of 2008. China orders rebounded with 70% growth led by Power Products which grew more than 90% for the quarter.

We've also a separate slide on China coming later. Revenues supported by execution of the record order backlog as well as short cycle book and bill business also continued growing at a double-digit pace.

Our cost savings program generated savings in excess of $200 million this quarter, mostly from sourcing and we reconfirm our targeted savings for 2011 of at least $1 billion.

As we indicated last quarter, given the acquisitions we've made, we will now begin reporting operational EBITDA and the related margin. You will of course still receive EBIT figures, but our comments will focus on the operational EBITDA developments.

Accordingly, our operational EBITDA for the first quarter increased 37% to $1.3 billion and related margin was 15.7%, an increase of 1.9 percentage points versus the same quarter a year ago.

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