July 19, 2018 / 5:46 AM / 4 months ago

French group Alstom posts higher first-quarter sales

FILE PHOTO: Employees of French engineering group Alstom Aare seen at the Alstom plant in Petite-Foret near Valenciennes, France, September 29, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French manufacturing group Alstom (ALSO.PA), which is merging its rail operations with Germany’s Siemens (SIEGn.DE), reported higher first-quarter sales and added it was making good progress on the Siemens deal.

Alstom said sales rose 14 percent from last year to 2.02 billion euros ($2.35 billion), helped by metro contract wins in the Middle East and Montreal.

Alstom also maintained its financial outlook for sales of around 8 billion euros and a core profit margin of up to 7 percent for the 2018/2019 fiscal year.

Last year, Siemens and Alstom agreed to merge their rail operations, creating a European champion to challenge the advance of China’s state-owned CRRC (601766.SS).

The European Union’s anti-trust regulators have opened a full-scale investigation into the deal, while Alstom said it expected the transaction to be closed in the first half of 2019.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Sunil Nair

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