Alstom and the EUR10 billion order book
French multinational firm Alstom, specialists in rail transport and electricity generation, has revealed in booked a record €10 billion worth of orders in the year up to 31 March 2015.
In the shadow of a potential €12.4 billion takeover deal by General Electric for Alstom’s power equipment business, the company has said Thermal Power, Renewable Power and Grid activities, as well as some corporate costs have been classified as Discontinued Operations; they are therefore not included in orders, sales, income from operations and are reported under the “net income – discontinued operations” line.
Between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015, Alstom booked a record €10 billion of orders meaning an increase of more than 60 percent as compared to last year. The book-to-bill ratio at 1.6, was above 1 for the fifth year in a row and was notably boosted by a €4 billion contract in South Africa. Sales at €6.2 billion, were up 8 percent over last year and income from operations amounted to €318 million, up 19 percent.
The operating margin (after corporate costs) improved by 50bps to 5.2 percent thanks to the increase in sales, the sound execution of projects, the implementation of the d2e (dedicated to excellence) performance plan and despite ramp-up costs of new platforms.
Group net income (continued and discontinued) was at €719 million, affected by a number of exceptional items, in particular the agreement with the US Department of Justice and some asset write-offs in Russia. As expected, free cash flow from continued operations (before tax and financial cash-out) was positive for the full year and Group free cash flow was substantially positive over the second half of the year and offset a large part of the cash outflow of the first half, with a full year figure of €429 million. The backlog amounted to €28 billion, corresponding to 55 months of sales.
Patrick Kron, Alstom’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Alstom delivered a very strong commercial performance in its Transport activity during the fiscal year, booking a record level of orders. As expected, Group free cash flow was substantially positive in the second half and free cash flow from continued operations, before tax and financial cash-out, was positive over the full year.
“The project with General Electric is moving ahead; we have already obtained anti-trust and regulatory authorisations in a number of countries and are actively working to complete this process and, thus, allow a closing in the coming months. After closing, we plan to call a Shareholders’ Meeting to vote on the amount of cash proceeds to be distributed to shareholders”
Alstom’s sales increased organically by 7 percent to reach €6.2 billion thanks mainly to deliveries of suburban, intercity and very high speed trains in France, Italy and Germany as well as very high speed trains in Morocco and tramways in Dubai. Emerging countries represented 30 percent of sales, pointing to an area of optimism for potential future growth markets for the organisation.
For the full Alstom financial report, please visit: http://www.alstom.com/Global/Group/Resources/Documents/Investors document/Financial results/2014-15/2015-05-06 FY 2014-15 PR.pdf
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.