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France's Alstom reports 27% slump in first-quarter sales

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alstom is seen at the Alstom's plant in Semeac near Tarbes, France, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

(Reuters) - France’s Alstom, which has agreed to buy Bombardier’s transport unit, reported on Thursday a slump of 27% in first-quarter sales as coronavirus lockdown measures slowed rolling stock sales recognition while a traffic decline hit its services and signalling division.

Alstom, whose previous rail tie-up plans with Siemens fell through last year, recorded April-June sales of 1.51 billion euros ($1.72 billion), while orders for the period were roughly stable, at 1.65 billion euros.

Last week, European Union antitrust regulators set a July 31 deadline to rule on Alstom’s bid for Bombardier’s business after the French TGV high-speed train maker offered to sell assets to address competition concerns. [nL8N2EH29Z][nL8N2EG1NM][nL8N2AH14A]

The closing of the acquisition remains on track for the first half of 2021, Alstom said, adding that by July 16, Alstom’s operations were close to a normalized level.

The company confirmed its 2019-2023 average annual growth rate objective of more than 5% would be affected slightly by the temporary slowdown in tender activity due to COVID-19.

Its 2022-23 aEBIT, or adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, as well as net income to free cash flow conversion objectives remain untouched, it added.

($1=0.8770 euros)

Reporting by Piotr Lipinski in Gdansk; Editing by Clarence Fernandez