ALSTOM: The company ‘proposes to resume the distribution of dividends and confirms its 2020 targets’, said Chairman & CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge when presenting Alstom’s annual results on May 4.

Orders in the year to March 31 2017 totalled €10·0bn, down 6% from the previous year which had included a €3·2bn contract in India. Sales were up 6% (5% organically) to €7·3bn, while adjusted EBIT increased 15% to €421m with an adjusted EBIT margin of 5·8%. Net income reached €289m, compared to €3bn the previous year which included income from discontinued operations. Alstom ended 2016-17 with a ‘record-breaking’ order book up 15% at €34·8bn, of which around 30% is in its services business.

Alstom said it benefited from a ‘very strong’ balance sheet, with free cash flow amounting to €182m, net debt stable at €208m and equity amounting to €3·7bn at March 31.

The board is to propose a dividend of €0·25 per share at the shareholder’s meeting on July 4.

‘During 2016-17, Alstom has continued to implement its 2020 strategy’, said Poupart-Lafarge. ‘With €10bn in orders for the third year in a row, Alstom has now reached leadership positions on all continents’. He said Alstom’s ‘unique integration capability and its operational excellence have enabled a solid delivery of its record backlog.’ Alstom was ‘particularly proud’ to have won the contract to supply Avelia high speed trainsets to Amtrak, while ‘a particular focus has also been put on innovation’ with the launch of the fuel cell powered iLINT multiple-unit.

Signalling, systems and services represented 57% of sales, in line with the 2020 objective of 60%. Systems sales increased by 27% with progress on the Riyadh and Guadalajara metros, deliveries in Brazil and Qatar and infrastructure projects in the UK. Signalling sales growth of 19% was supported by the integration of GE’s signalling business and deliveries in the UK and in Canada. Services slightly decreased at €1·5bn with an adverse foreign exchange impact on maintenance in the UK. Rolling stock sales reached €3·2bn.

Capital expenditure totalled €150m, part of an exceptional €300m ‘transformation’ investment over three years which includes building new facilities in South Africa and India. R&D costs totalled €248m, or 3·4% of sales. The main areas of R&D were the renewal of the rolling stock range, signalling and predictive maintenance.

  • Alstom said 20% of its management or professional roles are now held by women, on target for its 2020 objective of 25%.