Alstom achieves a solid commercial and operational performance and free cash flow turns positive
Between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013, Alstom booked 23.8 billion of orders, up 10% compared to last year. As announced, the group achieved a strong level of orders in the fourth quarter at 6.6 billion, leading to a book-to-bill above 1 for the 10th consecutive quarter. Sales, at 20.3 billion, showed a 2% growth compared to last year. Income from operations amounted to 1,463 million, reaching a 7.2% operating margin, up 10bp compared to the same period last year. The net result increased by 10% from 732 million in 2011/12 to 802 million. The free cash flow turned positive to 408 million in fiscal year 2012/13.
At its next Annual General Meeting, Alstom will propose a dividend of 0.84 per share, a 5% increase compared to last year.
In 2012/13, the Group delivered a solid commercial performance, illustrated by a book-to-bill ratio above 1 for every quarter of the fiscal year. Sales were up despite lower milestones recognition in Renewable and clients slowing down some projects in Grid. The operating margin has improved compared to the last fiscal year, thanks notably to sound contract execution and cost optimisation. Free cash flow has clearly turned positive after two years of negative figures. Our long-term prospects remain solid, driven by attractive fundamentals for all our end-markets. However, our short-term performance is expected to be impacted by lower volumes than anticipated due to a more challenging environment. In this context, we now expect sales to grow organically at a low single digit, operating margin to stay stable in 2013/14 and then gradually increase over the next two to three years to around 8%. Cash generation remains a top priority and we continue to anticipate a positive free cash flow year after year over this period, said Patrick Kron, Alstoms Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
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