Alstom sees sustained full-year orders after Q1 rise
PARIS (Reuters) - Alstom (ALSO.PA) said demand from emerging markets and European orders for its trains are set to remain brisk after several transport contracts lifted sales and orders in the first quarter.
The company - which makes commuter and high-speed trains, wind turbines and turbines for power stations - also confirmed its annual sales growth target of more than 5 percent in the next three years and a gradual improvement of the operating margin to reach around 8 percent in March 2015.
"The current tendering remains active, still driven by prospects in emerging markets but also in Europe for transport," Chief Executive Patrick Kron said in a statement. "For the full year, we expect orders to be sustained."
Alstom's shares, which have lost around 35 percent of their value in the last 12 months, were the top performers on the CAC 40 .FCHI index at 3.56 a.m. EDT, up 4 percent at 6.34 euros, while the index was 0.3 percent higher.
Sales in the three months to June 30 rose 6 percent to 4.8 billion euros ($5.89 billion), while orders jumped 20 percent compared with the same period a year earlier to 6.03 billion.
Alstom's book-to-bill ratio, a measure of new orders against actual shipments, was above 1 for the seventh consecutive quarter, indicating the market was continuing to expand.
The total order backlog stood at 51 billion euros at the end of June, while the book-to-bill ratio in the quarter rose to 1.3, the company said.
"The order intake is above consensus by 10 percent and the book-to-bill ratio is the strongest since the crisis," said Bernstein analyst Martin Prozesky, who has a "buy" recommendation on the stock.
The transport division achieved a strong order intake level of 2.3 billion euros due to several medium-sized contracts, especially in Europe.
They include a 1 billion-euro deal with Paris transport operator RATP for 70 trains destined for a suburban line that crosses the French capital and links it to Disneyland, as well as a 440 million-euro regional train contract in Sweden.
However, renewable power sales and orders were down as Alstom was able to secure only small projects in Africa and Brazil.
($1 = 0.8154 euros)
(Editing by James Regan and David Cowell)
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