This excerpt taken from the ABB 20-F filed May 27, 2005.
Our Powerlines business is a construction business that operates in a market with very low barriers to entry. This has resulted in increasing price-based competition with local competitors in the various countries in which we operate. The business has consequently experienced declining revenues, and net losses.
At the time we decided to exit the Powerlines business, this business operated in Austria, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Venezuela, South Africa and Nigeria. The Nigerian and Italian businesses were sold in January 2005 and February 2005, respectively. The Brazilian business was abandoned in the fourth quarter of 2004. We expect the German business to be sold during 2005. In the fourth quarter of 2004, we reclassified the Nigerian, Italian, Brazilian and German businesses to discontinued operations. This reclassification has been reflected in the financial statements for 2004, 2003 and 2002 and the results of the reclassified businesses are discussed below. We intend to exit our remaining Powerlines businesses, although we have not classified them in discontinued operations.
Revenues were $117 million, $187 million and $254 million in 2004, 2003 and 2002, respectively. We recorded net losses of $75 million, $10 million and $17 million in 2004, 2003 and 2002, respectively. The increase in losses in 2004 relates to reducing the book value of net assets to fair value less costs to sell the operations in Italy, Germany and Nigeria, costs related to the abandonment in Brazil and operational losses.