ENGINEERING

Alstom posts sales increase, maintains profit forecast

France's engineering giant Alstom appeared unfazed by the global downturn as it announced an 11% increase in third-quarter sales and maintained its robust profit forecast for the coming fiscal year.

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AFP - French engineering giant Alstom on Tuesday reported an 11 percent sales gain in the third quarter of its 2008-2009 fiscal year and maintained its profit projections.

Alstom, which manufactures power turbines and the high-speed TGV train, said it "continues to benefit from a solid financial situation."

Sales in the third quarter came to 4.6 billion euros (5.9 billion dollars), just shy of the 4.81 billion euros forecast by analysts according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Orders received in the third quarter were described by the company as "very satisfactory," coming to 6.1 billion euros, down 12.6 percent from a year earlier but beating expectations of 5.64 billion.

The group is projecting an operating margin of "around 9.0 percent" in March 2010, the end of its 2009-2010 fiscal year.

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