April 6, 2018 / 9:38 AM / a year ago

ABB to invest 100 mln eur in industrial automation campus in Austria

LINZ, Austria, April 6 (Reuters) - Swiss engineering group ABB will invest 100 million euros ($122 million) 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 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 but ahead of rivals such as Emerson , Rockwell Automation and General Electric.

$1 = 0.8173 euros Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Michael Shields

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