Global engineering group, Alstom, saw first-quarter sales increase by seven per cent to €4.8bn (£4.1bn) but reported a 27 per cent drop in orders.
The company said that sales at its power division increased by nine per cent, while sales for transport were up three per cent compared to the same period last year.
However, order intake for Alstom’s power business was at €3bn, 32 per cent down on the first quarter of last year. This reflected tough market conditions for its thermal systems and products, as well as the division’s lack of operation and maintenance contracts.
The group added that government stimulus plans had improved rail demand with orders at €1.8bn.
Patrick Kron, chairman and chief executive of Alstom, said: ‘Despite the very challenging environment, Alstom managed to record a satisfactory level of orders with a book-to-bill ratio at one.
‘As previously announced, in the short term, demand for rail transportation should remain sound, driven by large projects, some of which come from stimulus packages.
‘In power generation, the new equipment market should continue to be impacted by delays in the decision making of customers on future power plants. The progressive delivery of orders in hand translated into higher sales, up by seven per cent.’