ANNOUNCED on November 18, Alstom’s first-half results showed that orders received by Alstom Transport in the first six months of the 2004-05 financial year amounted to €2·9bn, an increase of 74% compared with the same period in 2003-04, when orders had been particularly low.

Sales at €2·5bn were up by 8%, and operating income was 4·8% of this, at €119m, compared with a loss of €31m in the first half of 2003-04 and income of €98m in the second half of the year.

According to Alstom ’this steady increase was due to the improvement of our project execution while the first half of last year was impacted by significant losses in relation to our US Transport business.’