By Nathan Allen
France's Alstom SA (>> Alstom) on Tuesday said that net profit for the first half of its fiscal year soared 66%, citing an increase in volume and operational improvements.
The train maker's net profit for the April-to-September period climbed to 213 million euros ($248.3 million) from EUR128 million a year earlier.
Sales went up to EUR3.76 billion from EUR3.57 billion a year earlier.
Alstom said that it received EUR3.17 billion in new orders over the period-- a decline of 49% on year due to the effects of several large orders in fiscal 2016.
Chief Executive Henri Poupart-Lafarge said that the company is on track to complete its 2020 objectives of reaching 5% organic sales growth a year and an earnings before interest and taxes margin of 7% by 2020.
In September, Alstom announced that it had agreed to merge with Siemens AG's (>> Siemens) rail operations to create a company with the scale to take on competition from China.
Mr. Poupart-Lafarge said that the company is in discussions with unions regarding the details of the merger.
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