ABB reaps benefits of Power-One purchase

Swiss power systems giant ABB‘s acquisition of solar inverter manufacturer Power-One in July is already paying dividends according to the parent company’s annual report, published on Friday.

ABB became the world’s second largest solar inverter manufacturer when it incorporated the Californian company into its discrete automation and motion (DAM) division last summer.

The latest set of figures show DAM aping the growth seen across four of ABB’s five divisions in 2013 with Power-One already making a significant contribution.

The DAM division, which includes Power-One’s inverters and electric vehicle charging points as one of the 13 types of product it manufactures, boasted revenue of $9.9 billion, up from $9.4 billion in 2012 and the second largest slice of the parent company’s revenue stream with 22%. Revenue raised by the acquisition was cited as a significant factor in the corporate report outlining the figures.

Power-One helps pick up the slack

DAM orders were up from $9.6 billion to $9.8 billion and although the order backlog dipped slightly, from $4.4 billion to $4.35 billion, that was down to other segments of the division with Power-One orders helping pick up the slack.

Although the income from operations for the DAM unit was hit by the Power-One acquisition cost, falling from $1.47 billion to $1.45 billion, the division boasted the highest earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) figure of the ABB group with $1.8 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 2012.

The parent company announced plans last year to start manufacturing inverters in South Africa to supplement production lines in Estonia, India and China with the division also expanding its electric vehicle (EV) charging station portfolio.

Having installed the world’s first nationwide EV charging network with 165 units in Estonia, the DAM division of ABB secured a contract from Fastned to install a similar, 200 station, network in the Netherlands which will ensure a charging station within 50km of every Dutch resident.

The company has also signed a six-year deal to provide charging stations in China for the long-range DENZA vehicle being developed by Daimler and BYD Auto.

With mentions in EBB’s corporate document of the electrical and control systems supplied to South Africa’s largest, 75 MW, PV park; a solar multi-purpose battery charging station installed in West Bengal in co-operation with conservation group WWF India; and the launch of the abb-livingspace.com website to showcase the group’s energy efficiency and smart home technologies, ABB’s commitment to solar seems assured.