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Alstom to build two ocean liners

PARIS, March 15 (AFP) – French heavy engineering group Alstom said Monday it had received an order for two ocean liners from MSC Cruises, the Swiss firm Mediterranean Shipping Company.

The announcement confirmed comments by the French Labour Minister over the weekend in the city of Le Croisic on France’s northwest coast.

Alstom, which is in the midst of a financial crisis, did not say how much the contract was worth but that there was an option for a third cruise ship.

The two cruise-liners would have 1,275 cabins each capable of carrying 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members. They would be used to ply the waters of the Mediterranean and the Carribean.

Delivery of the first ship is scheduled for June 2006, and the second for the first half of 2007.

Alstom, which narrowly avoided keeling over last year thanks to a French state-engineered bailout, warned last week its margins would be less than expected for this financial year, causing its buffeted share price to sink to fresh depths.


                                                              Subject: France news