I would juste like to say that Relloblue, you saved my day!!!!
I received a new MacBook pro 2012, 15 inch for christmas and gave my old 13inch (mid 2010) to my mom. I deleted all my contacts (stupid me) on my old macbook. and iCloud synced my empty contact list to my new MacBook. I have spent almost 5 hours trying to figure out how to import my contacts from my backup and not let iCloud sync (kept erasing my contacts, juste like mfronmark explained).
I did exactly like you said, relloblue, and it WORKED!!
I cant thank you enough.
I also have a solution.
I disconnected from the internet
Double clicked the .abbu contact backup file to import the contacts
Selected all the contacts and exported as a vCard file
Connected to the internet
Watched the contacts disapear
Imported the vCard file
The contacts imported and resynched with iCloud.