ABB India executive says margins under pressure

ABB India executive says margins under pressure

New Delhi: ABB Ltd, a unit of Swiss engineering group ABB, has seen its margins come under pressure as customers hold back spending, its managing director said on Monday.

Firms across the country have put growth plans on hold due to increased borrowing costs and insecurity over slowing economic growth that could fall below 8% this year.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised interest rates 12 times over 18 months to rein in stubbornly high inflation, and more increases are expected.

“Clearly, we do see many of our customers holding back in terms of new business," Bazmi Husain, managing director of ABB India, told reporters. “Margins are certainly under pressure."

He also said the parent company, ABB, had no plans to increase its 75% stake in the unit.

ABB, which competes with German conglomerate Siemens AG and France’s Schneider, will see emerging markets contribute 55-60% of revenue in five years, global chief executive Joseph Hogan said.

The RBI reaffirmed its anti-inflationary stance on Friday, despite growth fears after the country’s domestic demand driven economy grew 7.7% in the April-June period, its weakest pace in six quarters.

ABB’s Indian unit, which makes power equipment and provides automation, reported flat net profit for the June quarter with a 17% growth in sales, and said its order book would ensure “steady" revenue generation in the near term.

ABB employs 10,000 workers in India and runs 14 plants across seven locations.

Its shares were down just over 1% at 824 ($17.43) at 2:15 pm in a Mumbai market down 1.1% on global concerns.