Europe fuels sales growth for French train maker Alstom

French train maker Alstom reported a rise in third-quarter sales on Thursday, bolstered by contract wins in Europe and stronger market clout as it integrates the rail unit it bought from Bombardier last year.

The Paris-based firm reported sales of 3.92 billion euros ($4.45 billion), compared with the 3.71 billion euros generated a year ago, adjusting for acquisitions and foreign exchange rates.

“Our sales have progressed as announced, thanks to production ramp-up and stabilisation of our rolling stock projects and strong performance in Services,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Henri Poupart-Lafarge said in a statement.

The group had performed particularly well in Europe, helped by its larger scope and portfolio due to the Bombardier acquisition, which is approaching its one-year anniversary, Poupart-Lafarge said, adding that the integration was on track.

The 5.5 billion-euro acquisition can make the group into the world’s second-biggest player in the sector behind China’s CRRC (601766.SS).

The group, which makes trains and signalling systems for urban and regional rail networks, also confirmed that it aimed to return to a positive-free cash flow in the second half of the year ending March 31.

It had reported outflows of nearly 1.5 billion euros during April-September – a lower figure than expected – as integration costs from the Bombardier rail deal weighed on its balance sheet.

The company also confirmed its remaining targets for the full year, including an improved core profit and second-half sales surpassing the 7.4 billion euros it booked over the first six months.

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