US failure detracts from new Alstom orders

Anglo-French engineering group Alstom unveiled a 3% increase in new orders in its nine-month trading statement last week, but the figures did little to reassure investors in the wake of a big order cancellation in the US. Alstom had a 25% stake in the Fox consortium which won the contract to build a high-speed rail […]

Anglo-French engineering group Alstom unveiled a 3% increase in new orders in its nine-month trading statement last week, but the figures did little to reassure investors in the wake of a big order cancellation in the US.

Alstom had a 25% stake in the Fox consortium which won the contract to build a high-speed rail link in Florida. The plans collapsed after funding failed to materialise.

But Alstom said the US contract was not included in the order books since these include only signed orders and those where downpayment has been received.

The group, listed on the Paris stock market, said orders received in the first three quarters of the year totalled e10.7bn, (£7.5bn) with strong growth in the US, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Transport orders were 12% up on the corresponding period last year, with large orders from French national railway company SNCF and a big deal to supply trams in Poland.

But energy orders were 3% down, reflecting lower demand from Asia and South America.

Alstom said several valuable contracts have been signed but not yet recorded, including a contract to build a coal-fired power plant in Taiwan the company’s biggest deal in the energy sector for three years.

Alstom also revealed that it had won two contracts worth a total of e250m for a turnkey power station in Singapore. The 800MW power station will begin commercial operation in 2001, Alstrom said.

The company added that sales for the first nine months of the year reached e10.2bn, compared with e10.1bn a year ago.

The figures include a contribution from Cegelec, acquired in May last year.