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Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 26, 2012 9:00 am ET


Joseph M. Hogan - Chief Executive Officer

Michel Demaré - Chief Financial Officer


Mark Troman - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Andreas P. Willi - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Ben Uglow - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

William Mackie - Berenberg Bank, Research Division

James Moore - Redburn Partners LLP, Research Division

Fredric Stahl - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Olivier Esnou - Exane BNP Paribas, Research Division

Daniela Costa - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division



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Ladies and gentlemen, good morning and good afternoon. Welcome to the ABB Second Quarter 2012 Results Analyst and Investor Conference Call. I'm Stephanie, the Chorus Call operator. [Operator Instructions] The conference is being recorded. After the presentation there will be a Q&A session. [Operator Instructions] At this time, it's my pleasure to hand over to Joe Hogan, CEO of ABB; and Michel Demaré, CFO of ABB. Please go ahead, gentlemen.

Joseph M. Hogan

Hi, good afternoon, thanks for joining us. Michel and I will be here to walk through some of the slides and to take any questions. As always, the charts and the presentation that we're going to speak from is on I turn your attention also to Chart 2, which is our Safe Harbor statement. And let's quickly move to Chart 3.

So just from a high-level standpoint, we announce that both orders and revenues were higher despite, obviously, the uncertain market conditions that exist around the world today. Currency translation is, I would say, kind of an overrated. There's a lot of noise in our numbers, and hopefully, this presentation helps to clear up some of that noise. The 2 big areas of noise would be the Thomas & Betts acquisition along with the currency translation piece. And when you look at the currency translation, it reduced reported revenues by about $600 million and EBITDA by about $100 million, so substantial in that sense.

China orders stabilized, particularly in Low Voltage Products, where we had some issues in the first quarter. North America, still strong for us. We saw a rebound in the Middle East, and Europe, steady. I'd say there's a two-tier Europe, between North and South, we'll talk about it. But at least, there was a positive order for the quarter. Order price pressure in power is easing, and I say, slightly, but we do see that easing. Steady Power Project (sic) [Products] margins over the last 3 quarters, and Michel and I will explain that. Operational EBITDA decreased versus the second quarter of last year. Some negative mix, and obviously, the U.S. strong dollar translation, but we saw some good progress quarter-to-quarter.

Thomas & Betts acquisition is completed. We got about 6 weeks in, and we'll walk you through how that looks. And in divisions, delivered really solid cash from operations. But we'll talk to you about some of the cash short fall that we've had and as to why.

Moving to Chart 4. You can see that the orders were up 2% versus second quarter of last year. And then when you look from an organic standpoint, up 9%, and then plus 6% from an overall standpoint. Revenues organic about 3% at $9.7 billion. Our order backlog, there's some questions this morning on order backlog, if you adjust from a U.S. dollar standpoint, minus 3%, but in local currency, we actually saw an increase in our backlog close to $29 billion, overall.

From an operational EBITDA standpoint, our numbers were $1.471 billion, as you can see. That's about minus 5% overall, but minus 9% from an organic standpoint, when you look at the $60 million we received from Thomas & Betts in the quarter. That gives us an operational EBITDA percent of about 15.1% versus 16% of last year. Our net income, down 27%, and cash from operations, down 33%. That will imply, I guess, some explanation, and Michel and I will walk you through that shortly.

Turning to Chart 5. Steady on higher demand in most regions. And so this is a good chart, in a sense, when you look around the globe where we stand. Starting from the left-hand side, you can see the Americas are up 20%, overall; excluding Thomas & Betts, up 10%. And really good progress in both power and automation, power, up 26%; and automation, up 16%. So we were pleased with what we see in the Americas for this quarter. Moving to the right, we look at the Middle East and Africa, up 34%, and good progress in both power and automation in that area. And it's good that we could drive some good orders realization in that part of the world for this quarter.

Moving more to the right is ASIA, minus 1%. In the next page, we'll talk more about how we can dissect Asia for you, and how that works. But overall, power, up 12%; and automation, down 8%.

And then in Europe, up 2%: with automation, up 4%; and power, up 2%, in that sense. And we were really pleased to see Europe as strong as it was from an order standpoint, given the economic uncertainty that obviously exists in Europe right now.

Moving to Chart 6. This just breaks down from a country standpoint more than how we look at things at regions, so you can get a better look at the business. You see Canada was up 30%, up 10% excluding T&B. United States is up 13%, and exclude T&B, overall. And Brazil, up 12%. When you look up above, on Norway, plus 47%. A lot of that has to do with marine and then oil and gas is associated with marine. The U.K. up 35%. You can see Russia up 15%. Germany, down 10%. We have 1 tough comparison, Discrete Automation and Motion in Germany. But overall, you see the German side down. We talked about a two-tier Europe though, with Spain, minus 30%; and Italy, minus 13%. We continue to see pressure in that area. We had strong orders in Oman, up 10x, particularly in our power automation business, overall, in the power and automation businesses. India was up 11%. In fact, we saw good operations turn around in India, too, which is establishing a positive trend force. China was down 2% overall, but the Low Voltage Products, which is our biggest concern in the first quarter, actually came back pretty strongly. And then you can see Australia is up 49%. And again, that's the mining industry there, primarily, and that teams are doing a good job in driving our portfolio in that industry in Australia.

Moving to Chart 7. And this just takes a quick look at our Power Products and Power Systems performance, overall. You could see that orders were up in Power Products, about 5%. Revenues were flat. Operational EBITDA versus the second quarter of last year, down 15%, at 14.7%. If you move down to the bottom part of what we're trying to show on this chart is that we, over the last 3 quarters, that had pretty consistent margins from an operational EBITDA standpoint in Power Products. And we're hoping that what we're showing here is we think we've found the 4 here, and we're going to strive hard to be able to maintain that and then bend this curve in the future. Overall, Bernhard and his team have done a good job in Power Products. One of the big things here is the team saving about $100 million of cost in the second quarter in order to counteract the price that we still have in our backlog that's been coming through in that business.

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