Swiss-Swedish engineering giant ABB on Wednesday reported better-than-expected first quarter profits despite a stronger US dollar which negatively impacted revenues.
Net profits rose four percent to $564 million (514 million euros), the group said in a statement, adding that big orders had doubled. It also reported strong growth in three key markets -- the United States, China and Germany.
Analysts polled by the Swiss financial news agency AWP had forecast net profits of $544 million and sales of $8.3 billion.
"We delivered a solid first quarter in which we grew net income and increased cash flow," said chief executive officer Ulrich Spiesshofer.
"In a challenging environment, we doubled large orders and kept base orders steady," he said.
ABB had won a $900 million order to connect the Norwegian and German power grids.
Revenues however fell 10 percent to $8.5 billion due to the negative exchange impact of a stronger dollar in the first quarter.
Total orders were flat in dollar terms but grew 15 percent on a like-for-like basis.
Orders of over $15 million doubled, the group said, and represented 23 percent of total activity compared with 12 percent in the same quarter a year ago.
ABB said its outlook for the US market remained positive as well, and expected growth in China, although at a slower pace.
But current oil prices and currency rates would likely expect results, it said.