Alstom net profit plunged 62 percent in full-year results

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French energy and transport company Alstom said Wednesday net profit dropped 62 percent in its 2010-2011 fiscal year due to restructuring costs, but that robust demand from emerging markets boosted the second half.

The group earned 462 million euros ($686 million) in the financial year ended March 30 on revenue up six percent to 20.9 billion euros. Operating profit gained 12 percent to 1.57 billion euros.

Alstom last October announced it was shedding 4,000 jobs over a year and a half amid weakening demand for its gas and coal plants in the United States and Europe.

But the conglomerate said that the second half of the 2010-2011 fiscal year rebounded on demand from emerging countries, with orders from Brazil, Russia, India, and China up 60 percent.

By March of this year, the backlog of orders amounted to 46.8 billion euros, or 26 months of sales.

"The recovery in orders intake has been driven by numerous successes in emerging markets where demand is expected to continue to grow, while activity in the developed economies remains sluggish," said Patrick Kron, chairman and chief executive.

The group said it spent over 500 million euros in capital expenditures to boost its presence in BRIC countries and launch new investments.

Last month the company announced a big joint venture with Chinese partner SEC in supplying boilers for power generating facilities in a bid to become the global leader in their field.

Alstom said that it has decided to halve its dividends to 0.62 euros.

It left its forecast unchanged, saying it expects operating margin of the current fiscal year to stay within the 7-8 percent bracket.

© 2011 AFP

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