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ABB eyes Middle East solar spoils

CEO: Swiss-based Firm well placed to take advantage of developments.

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ABB is ready for a push into solar.
ABB is ready for a push into solar.

The Middle East will be a key market for ABB’s push into solar power in the coming years, with the company well placed to take advantage of developments in the region.

Saudi Arabia’s determination to channel oil production towards export markets as well as the domestic petrochemicals business will be important drivers for the solar industry, according to ABB chief executive officer, Ulrich Spiesshofer.

“You saw us making last year one of the largest acquisitions, Power-One, and with that we are now very strongly positioned as the global number two in solar inverters,” he said at the Swiss-based power and automation company’s Capital Markets Day in London.

“And if you look at the offering of ABB today, end to end we have everything between the panel and the grid. With that offering we’re now moving very strongly into the growth regions of the world for solar.

“The Middle East is a clear target segment. If you look for example in Saudi, there’s a strong movement to take the oil into the petrochemical value chain rather than in power generation, and that’s an opportunity for us.

“So we are investing heavily in a strong local sales and services presence and we are also ramping up the capabilities on local assembly of products and services.”

Spiesshofer made the comments following a presentation to unveil ABB’s next level strategy which will focus on accelerating organic growth momentum, margin accretion as well as enhanced capital efficiency to deliver greater shareholder value.

The company expects to grow operational earnings per share (EPS) by 10-15% and deliver attractive cash returns on investment in the mid-teens over the period 2015-2020.

It targets revenue growth of between 4% and 7% per year on a like-for-like basis, faster than forecasted GDP and market growth.

“We are shifting our center of gravity towards higher growth segments while enhancing competitiveness and lowering risk particularly in our Power Systems division,” Spiesshofer said.

“We are increasing the customer focus of our organisation by streamlining it for greater agility and speed.

“We will drive change with focused 1,000-day programs to ensure a successful implementation.”

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