ABB Preparing for “Uncertain Economic Environment” Ahead – CEO

ABBZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Power and technology group ABB Ltd. (ABBN.VX) is preparing for uncertain economic times ahead, its Chief Executive Joe Hogan said.

“We are performing well, but it’s a very uncertain economic environment,” Hogan said Thursday.

“We have to be careful, making sure our costs are in line and we anticipate any kind of any dramatic economic downfall so we are prepared for it.”

He said Zurich-based ABB had performed “fairly well” during its third quarter, with a strong performance from the discrete automation business.

The performance was boosted by the acquisition of Baldor, the U.S. industrial motors company, which ABB bought last November for $4.2 billion and which has been “terrific”, Hogan added.

He said ABB also saw a trend towards larger orders like the $1 billion order it won in August to supply a power link connecting North Sea wind farms to the German mainland grid.

“There is a trend, particularly if you look at power systems and the tender backlog. There is a much larger percentage towards orders of $800 million to $1 billion than three years ago.

“We don’t look at these as one-offs. You could see two or three of these a year maybe.”

-By John Revill, Dow Jones Newswires