Shareholder returns and capital allocation
ABB’s capital allocation priorities remain unchanged:
- funding organic growth at attractive cash returns;
- paying a steadily rising, sustainable dividend;
- investing in value-creating acquisitions; and
- returning additional cash to shareholders.
ABB’s strong cash generation continued in 2017.
Cash flow from operating activities was $3,799 million for the full year. Free cash flow in 2017 amounted to $2,926 million. The company’s cash return on invested capital was 12.4 percent, mainly impacted by the acquisition of B&R. ABB’s disciplined capital allocation policies have delivered $10.3 billion to shareholders in the form of dividend distributions and share buybacks from 2014 to 2017.
The Board of Directors is proposing a ninth consecutive increase
in the dividend to 0.78 Swiss francs per share at the 2018 Annual General Meeting.