Profits fall at GE target Alstom

Alstom posted lower annual profits and orders as it awaits the outcome of a high-profile takeover bid for its energy assets from US industrial giant GE.

Alstom offered no new information on the proposed GE acquisition when it unveiled net profits of €556m ($774m) for the 2013/14 financial year to March, 28% lower than the previous 12 months and affected by various factors such as restructuring charges and write-downs.

Operating profits fell 3% to €1.42bn.

Orders were 10% lower at €21.5bn and sales were flat at €20.3bn.

The group said “challenging macro-economic conditions” had weighed on its commercial performance, with a large number of major infrastructure projects postponed, especially in thermal power.

Alstom said its renewables operation enjoyed a “strong commercial performance” in 2013/14 with €2.6bn of orders. The group noted “significant commercial successes” in wind, particularly in Brazil.

The Renewable Power division managed to post a 9% organic sales growth. However, the division’s operating margin of 4.5% was affected by “continuing price pressure in wind”.

Yesterday GE renewables vice-president Anne McEntee told Recharge that Alstom’s wind business holds “a lot of complementary pieces” to GE’s own.