France's Alstom reports 27% slump in first-quarter sales

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alstom is seen at the Alstom's plant in Semeac near Tarbes, France, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

(Reuters) - France's Alstom ALSO.PA, which has agreed to buy Bombardier's transport unit, reported on Thursday a slump of 27% in first-quarter sales as coronavirus lockdown measures slowed rolling stock sales recognition while a traffic decline hit its services and signalling division.

Alstom, whose previous rail tie-up plans with Siemens SIEGn.DE fell through last year, recorded April-June sales of 1.51 billion euros ($1.72 billion), while orders for the period were roughly stable, at 1.65 billion euros.

Last week, European Union antitrust regulators set a July 31 deadline to rule on Alstom’s bid for Bombardier’s business after the French TGV high-speed train maker offered to sell assets to address competition concerns.

The closing of the acquisition remains on track for the first half of 2021, Alstom said, adding that by July 16, Alstom’s operations were close to a normalized level.

The company confirmed its 2019-2023 average annual growth rate objective of more than 5% would be affected slightly by the temporary slowdown in tender activity due to COVID-19.

Its 2022-23 aEBIT, or adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, as well as net income to free cash flow conversion objectives remain untouched, it added.

($1=0.8770 euros)

Reporting by Piotr Lipinski in Gdansk; Editing by Clarence Fernandez