ALSTOM: Chairman & CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said Alstom ‘achieved excellent results in this first half with breakthrough commercial successes’, when he presented on November 14 the company’s results for the financial period from April 1 to September 30.

Alstom had booked orders worth €7·13bn, up from €3·17bn in the same period last year. This led to a record backlog of €38·1bn, which Poupart-Lafarge said ‘provides strong visibility on future sales and our outstanding operational performance reflects the solid projects execution’.

Sales reached €4·0bn in the first half, with signalling, systems and services representing 57%, and the book-to-bill ratio was ‘strong’ at 1·8. Adjusted EBIT increased to €285m leading to an adjusted EBIT margin of 7·1%, compared to €180m with a 5·4% margin last year. Net income was ‘exceptionally high’ at €563m, including exceptional net income from discontinued operations of €245m, and free cash flow amounted to €172m.

Alstom said it would work ‘constructively’ with Siemens and the European Commission to explain what the companies see as the rationale and the benefits of their proposed merger and to address the Commission’s competition concerns in a timely manner. The Commission is scheduled to complete its review by the end of January, and Alstom hopes to close the deal in the first half of 2019.