Alstom's RE order intake up 50%

Renewables is poised to continue playing a major role in Alstom’s growth story, with the division recording a 50% order increase over the past three quarters – cutting a sharp contrast to the company’s far larger Thermal Power unit.

Revenues from the Renewable Power division grew 5% to €1.25bn ($1.7bn) in the three quarters running through 31 December 2013, the French industrial giant said today.

But the unit's orders soared 50% – to €1.83bn – during the period, due in part to the €400m follow-on wind-turbine order Alstom recorded in late December from Brazilian infrastructure group Queiroz Galvão. Revenues were up 27% during the third quarter, covering the October to December period.

By comparison, Alstom’s Thermal Power unit saw new orders fall 16% over the past three quarters. Sales during the period rose 2% to €6.4bn.

Taken together, Alstom’s four key divisions – Thermal Power, Renewable Power, Grid and Transport – saw orders sink 12% to €15.1bn over the past three quarters.

Many of Alstom’s most important achievements during the past quarter came from its Renewable Power unit.

The company recently commissioned its first 6MW Haliade 150 offshore turbine in the Belgian North Sea; it inaugurated its largest hydropower-component factory in Tianjin, China; and it signed a co-operation agreement with GDF Suez to develop pilot tidal farms in France.

Nevertheless, the group says its margins will come under pressure in the new year due largely to weak sales from its Thermal division.

Earlier this month Alstom named Yves Rannou – an executive within its hydroenergy business – as the new senior vice president for company’s wind unit. Rannou will take over for Alfonso Faubel on 1 April.