April 6, 2018 / 9:49 AM / 2 years ago

ABB to invest 100 million euros in industrial automation campus in Austria

LINZ, Austria (Reuters) - Swiss engineering group ABB (ABBN.S) will invest 100 million euros (87.06 million pounds) in an innovation and training campus in Austria to develop technologies for its industrial automation unit, it said on Friday.

A year ago, ABB bought Austrian industrial automation specialist Bernecker & Rainer (BR), which makes programmable controls for machines, to better challenge German rival Siemens (SIEGn.DE) on the factory floor.

Now it plans to create around 1,000 new jobs at a new campus at the B&R headquarters in Eggelsberg in the province of Upper Austria, ABB said.

The campus is expected to be finished by 2020.

ABB said a year ago it aimed to increase B&R’s annual sales to above $1 billion from around $600 million.

“We are well on track to achieve this goal,” Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer said in a statement.

The Austrian acquisition helped ABB consolidate its No. 2 position in the $130 billion processing and industrial sector behind Siemens (SIEGn.DE) but ahead of rivals such as Emerson (EMR.N), Rockwell Automation and General Electric (GE.N).

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Michael Shields

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