Annual Report 2013

Ethanol production plant

Welcome to ABB's new online edition of the Annual Report 2013. This year's report has been expanded and developed with many more interactive elements to help our stakeholders get a better overview of what ABB does and what makes us successful.

As well as highlights of 2013 and the shareholders' letter from our Chairman and CEO, we have created new sections exploring ABB's strategy and achievements. You can meet some of our employees from different businesses around the world including our acquired companies, and find out what they think of ABB and why they choose to work here. We hope you enjoy browsing through our new Annual Report.


Business overview

  • Chairman and CEO
  • This is ABB
  • Highlights
  • Profitable growth
  • Business-led collaboration
  • Relentless execution
Hubertus von Grünberg & Ulrich Spiesshofer (photo)

Dear shareholders,

ABB turned in a solid performance in a challenging market in 2013. We achieved record revenues, higher operating profits and met our cost-reduction targets. We accomplished this during a year of mixed markets and continued economic uncertainty, as well as internal management transitions, demonstrating the company’s underlying strength and ability to execute. For the fifth year in a row, we will be proposing a dividend increase at our annual general meeting.

Four of our five divisions performed well, with Power Products continuing to lead the sector in profitability. Our expanded product and geographic scope enabled us to increase profitability in automation across our Low Voltage Products, Discrete Automation and Motion and our Process Automation divisions. We are confident that our Power Systems division will deliver higher, more consistent returns under new leadership once certain legacy projects have been executed and actions to improve risk and project management are complete. ...

Train arriving in Shenzhen North Station (photo)

ABB is one of the world’s leading power and automation technology companies.

Our portfolio ranges from switches and sockets to robots, and from large transformers to control systems that manage entire power networks and factories.

We provide solutions for secure, energy-efficient generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, and for increasing productivity in industrial, commercial and utility operations.

We help our customers meet their challenges with minimum environmental impact. That’s why ABB stands for “Power and productivity for a better world.”

HVDC outdoor yard (photo)

Solid performance in a challenging market Record revenues, higher operating profits and earnings per share despite continued economic uncertainty

Acquisition integration on track Integration of two biggest acquisitions, Baldor and Thomas & Betts, is well on target in terms of cost synergies

Power Products divisioncontinues to lead the sector in profitability

Improved customer satisfaction Proportion of customers saying they would recommend ABB to others rises to 35% compared with 29% in 2012

Train depot at Shenzhen North Station (photo)

Driving a robust growth agenda in an aligned way is a high priority in today’s volatile and uncertain economic environment. We have therefore developed a growth formula called PIE, which stands for:

  • Penetration: Selling more of our existing offering to accessible customers
  • Innovation: Creating new offerings and value propositions
  • Expansion: Moving into new segments where we are not yet present or that do not yet exist
  • In the future, all of ABB’s existing and new growth efforts will be driven in line with this formula.
Natural gas plant in Norway (photo)

As a global organization, we are continually improving the way we bring teams in ABB together to make sure that whatever we do for our customers is optimally aligned and that we deliver significantly greater value by offering a more integrated set of solutions.

Collaboration must be led by the business because it depends on an intimate understanding of the needs of our customers and then creating an ABB solution based on multiple business offerings across our portfolio. To encourage business to drive the opportunities for collaboration, specific targets will be set and incentives aligned accordingly. ...

Generator circuit breaker (GCB) factory (photo)

Relentless execution is a hallmark of ABB that has enabled the company to emerge from the market turbulence of recent years in a stronger position. We have a particular focus on the execution of activities that are critical to achieving faster profitable growth.

One of the first actions taken under this new focus was to initiate a program to improve the management of our net working capital (NWC). The goal is to free up cash from our operations to make it available for investments in growth, and to steadily raise CROI. ...

Explore more

Click on the tiles below to take a deeper look at how ABB, with its five divisions and 150,000 employees, is realizing its vision of “Power and productivity for a better world”.