PARIS, Sept 18 French power and transport
engineering firm Alstom will step up cost-cutting
efforts to offset weakening growth prospects, CEO Patrick Kron
told Les Echos on Wednesday.
Alstom shares fell 1.5 percent by 0746 GMT, posting the
biggest drop in the CAC 40, France's blue-chip index.
"With uncertain perspectives in some geographic areas, and
growth that's slower than I had anticipated 12 or 18 months ago,
we need to intensify these savings," Kron told the business
daily in an interview.
"This doesn't mean that we'll stop R&D (research and
development) or that we'll stop investing ... but we'll tighten
the bolts wherever it's possible."
A meeting of Alstom's European works council is planned on
Wednesday, during which union representatives could be given
more information on the company's planned cuts.
Earlier this month, newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche
reported that Alstom was working on a global cost-savings plan,
but the company said at the time that while it had taken
measures to reduce its general and administrative expenses, it
was not working on a restructuring or a layoff plan.
(Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by Louise Heavens)