ABB focuses on costs, fourth-quarter profit beats poll

ZURICH Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:13am EST

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ZURICH Feb 14 (Reuters) - Switzerland's ABB said it would focus on costs to offset near-term uncertainty about growth in Europe and the U.S. as it posted a narrower-than-expected fall in fourth-quarter profit.

The world's biggest supplier of industrial motors and power grids, said fourth-quarter net profit fell 27 percent to $604 million, hit by a $350 million charge, flagged in December, to revamp its power systems unit.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast profit of $532 million.

ABB, which competes with Germany's Siemens, has sought to cut costs to try and combat a sluggish global economy that has sapped demand for factory equipment and prompted clients to postpone big capital expenditure projects. (Reporting by Caroline Copley)