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Alstom boosts confidence

01 Apr 2002

ON MARCH 14 Alstom announced details of its 'Restore Value' plan to investors and analysts. Aimed at strengthening the balance sheet and generating cash, the plan prompted an immediate rise of 7·5% in the share price quoted in Paris.

'Key challenges' facing Alstom include high gearing following internally-funded acquisitions, insufficient cash generation and 'certain one-off problems'. The company lists one of these as 'UK regional trains'. It says 'problems experienced in completing the UK regional train orders stem from the organisation's delay in recognising and adapting to the rapidly-changing UK rail market'.

The business has meanwhile been reorganised and 'new management has been put in place to ensure that the issue is resolved quickly and comprehensively'. The company says 90 of 119 Coradia diesel and electric multiple-units have been delivered, and that the remaining 29 'will be delivered as planned during the first quarter of the current calendar year'.