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.

Dividends to Shareholders
Dividends to Shareholders (chart)

(1) proposed

Total Cash Returned to Shareholders

USD bn

Total Cash Returned to Shareholders (chart)
Cash Return on Invested Capital


Cash Return on Invested Capital (chart)

(1) includes impact of B&R acquisition

Capital Allocation

2014–2017 USD bn

Capital Allocation (chart)
Free Cash Flow

USD bn

Free Cash Flow (chart)