ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies, with market leadership positions in most of its core businesses. The ABB Group of companies is a truly global company, operating in around 100 countries with around 115,000 employees.
Orders in 2003 were $18.7 billion, while revenues were just under $18.8 billion. Key growth markets last year included Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and eastern Europe. ABB’s products, services and systems continued to sell strongly and be deployed worldwide.
The group’s history goes back more than a century, priding itself on its long history of technology innovation. The ABB Group was formed in 1988, when the Swedish Asea and the Swiss BBC Brown Boveri merged under the name ABB. Asea’s history dates back to 1883. BBC Brown Boveri was founded in 1891.
ABB is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. ABB Ltd shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Zurich, London, Stockholm, Frankfurt and New York.
The company’s target is to contribute to long-term economic, environmental and social development by providing its utility and industry customers with power and automation technologies that improve performance and lower environmental impact.
The group has two core divisions, Power Technologies and Automation Technologies.
Power Technologies serves electric, gas and water utilities, as well as industrial and commercial customers, with a broad range of products, systems and services for power transmission, distribution and power plant automation. Power technologies are used to transform, convert or apply electrical power in order to transmit and distribute it to consumers. The division employs around 38,700.
Automation Technologies blends a customer-focused product, service and system portfolio with end-user expertise and global presence to deliver solutions for measurement, control, motion, protection and plant optimisation across the full range of process, discrete and utility industries. The division employs around 63,000 and has some 150 manufacturing, application and software centres worldwide.
New technology safeguards the company’s competitive edge. ABB invested roughly five per cent of revenues, or $930 million, in research and development and order-related development in 2003. This was an increase of more than $135 million over 2002, underlining the importance of technology innovation to the key businesses.
ABB has global research and development centres and teams strategically placed around the world cooperating on projects in real time across different time zones. In the past two years alone, ABB has opened new centres in China, India and Singapore. This development reflects ABB’s market-specific growth strategy.
The global laboratories also serve to link university research and the specific application of new technologies in products, systems and services.
Innovation is key to ABB’s success. Cutting-edge technology and more than 120 years of experience in power and automation provide its core businesses with a competitive advantage and help ABB to maintain its position as a global leader in power and automation technologies.
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