Alstom soars back into profit on GE sale

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Paris (AFP)

French transport giant Alstom surged back into profit over the past year, driven by the sale of its power and grid businesses to General Electric, it said on Wednesday.

The company reported net profit of 3.0 billion euros ($3.42 billion) for the fiscal year 2015/16.

It was a sharp turnaround from the previous year when it posted a loss of 719 million euros, weighed down by special items such provisions made ​​to pay a fine of about $772 million in the United States and depreciation of assets in Russia.

US industrial giant GE completed in November its acquisition of the power and grid businesses of Alstom for 9.7 billion euros.

"Net income (Group share) reached 3.0 billion euros, benefitting from the sales of Energy activities to General Electric and after impact of exceptional impairments mainly in France," the group said in a statement.

The strong performance was also powered by "a major contract for electric locomotives and associated maintenance in India of about 3.2 billion euros.

"Other commercial successes were registered in all regions including Pendolino trains with maintenance in Italy, regional trains in Belgium, Germany, France and Algeria, maintenance of Kazakh locomotives, locomotives in Azerbaijan, metro systems in Panama and metro in India, as well as signalling systems in India, Hong Kong, Canada and United Kingdom," it said.

Sales reached 6.9 billion euros, up 7.0 percent on a comparable basis.