Struggling French engineering group Alstom has announced that it has slashed its losses and is pulling in orders. The firm – which made the Queen Mary 2 liner and also produces high speed trains and power generation equipment – was saved from collapse with a state-backed bail-out this summer. In the six months up to the end of September, the company saw a 51% increase in orders and losses fell to 315 million euros, almost half what they had been in the same period last year.
Chief executive Patrick Kron said: “Our strategy will refocus the group on its two core businesses – power generation and transport. Alstom will be smaller, but it will be stronger.” After selling some key assets and cutting thousands of jobs Alstom, raised 1.75billion euros through selling new shares in August, the third infusion of capital in four years. In the rescue plan the French government became its leading shareholder with a 21% stake. It must still sell 1.5 billion euros in assets to meet conditions imposed by the European Commission when it approved the bail out.