Alstom is a solid business, worries are unfounded -minister

PARIS Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:33am EST

PARIS Feb 25 (Reuters) - French engineering group Alstom is a solid business and talk about state worries over its situation is nonsense, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Tuesday.

"It's a solid business, very innovative, which we support and which doesn't deserve the way it has been described," Montebourg told reporters during a conference hosted by the European American Press Club in Paris.

Alstom, which makes trains and turbines for power plants, cut its cash flow and profitability targets last month because of weak orders from utilities, raising the spectre of a dividend cut and sending its shares tumbling.

Les Echos reported last week that Alstom's woes had sparked concern within the French government, which hired consultants several months ago to study the group's position in its different markets and strategic options.

"These are harebrained ideas," Montebourg said.

(Reporting by Natalie Huet, Editing by Dominique Vidalon)

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