ALSTOM: 'A solid performance in both Power and Transport' saw overall orders up 5% to €24·6bn and sales up 11% to €18·7bn for the year to March 31 2009, according to Alstom Chairman & CEO Patrick Kron. Power orders were up 3%, but Transport grew 9% with a record order intake helped by NTV's order for AGV high speed trains and the contract to supply additional Pendolino vehicles to the UK.

Both deals include maintenance packages, a market the company is aiming to grow and which is expected to be less volatile than new sales during what Kron called the 'brutal downturn in the world's economy'.

Operating margin at Power grew from 8·9% to 9·6%, and was stable at 7·2% at Transport 'in spite of higher spending on new platforms.' Net profit was up 30% to €1·1bn.

Kron expects demand for rail transport to remain sustained, 'notably thanks to the stimulus packages'. However stricter cost controls are being put in place, including a standardisation strategy and an effort to consolidate the company's 'strong position' in areas such as very high speed trains.

'Alstom benefits from strong assets to face this challenging environment: a competitive industrial positioning worldwide, a solid customer base, a sound financial structure and a record backlog', said Kron.