ZURICH, April 20 (Reuters) - ABB said on Thursday it expected 2017 to be a transitional year, with the first signs of a recovery in some industries, as the engineering company reported better-than-expected earnings during the first three months of the year.
The Swiss power transmission and automation company said net profit for the period ended March 31 rose 45 percent to $724 million from $500 million a year earlier.
The figure, boosted by a gain from selling its high voltage cable business to Denmark's NKT Cables last year, beat the average analyst forecast of $489 million in a Reuters poll.
Revenue fell 1 percent to $7.85 billion, though it rose 3 percent after stripping out the effect of divestitures and currency fluctuations. (Reporting by John Revill)