Founded in 1928, French company Alstom S.A. focused on the sale and manufacturing of rolling stock, digital and integrated systems and other services. The company recently acquired Bombardier’s transportation business; the transaction having been finalized in January 2021. This came after the company announced a proposed merger with Siemens Mobility in 2017, which was prohibited by the European Commission some two years later.
Alstom recorded a sales revenue of just under 8.79 billion euros in the 2020-2021 financial year which, combined with Bombardier’s revenue, reached some 14 billion euros in total and more than 74.5 billion euros in combined backlog. The acquisition is also expected to lead to Alstom being the leading rolling stock manufacturer in Europe, combining its market shares of 16 percent in 2019 to Bombardier’s 28 percent. Alstom’s workforce worldwide also rose to just under 71,700 employees as Bombardier Transportation’s personnel was included in the company.
Covid-19 pandemic financial impact
Rolling stocks represented over half Alstom’s global revenue in 2020, making it the largest segment of the company. While the company had a revenue increase of around seven percent between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years, its earnings before interest and taxes dropped by close to 45 percent during that same period. This is in part due to the economic downturn of the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted rolling stock manufacturing in part through an overall drop in demand and price increases of primary material. Total order backlog climbed from 40.9 to 74.54 billion euros, with rolling stocks climbing by 89 percent. By contrast, order intake dipped by some 800 million euros in the 2020/21 fiscal year. Representing 66 percent of orders, Europe was the leading market for the company.
The European market leader
The global rolling stock market value is projected to reach some 64.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2025 (around just under 54 billion euros). Multiple units were the most popular type of rolling stock in Europe, making up almost half the market in 2019, compared to metro units, leading the North American market at some 39 percent that same year. That same year, Alstom was one of the European market leaders in multiple unit trains and metro manufacturing, holding 15 and six percent of the worldwide market.
CRRC Corporation was the market leader in metro rolling stock. In 2019, around 7,400 rapid transit and metro units were sold by the China-based company. Bombardier and Stadler were the European leaders for multiple unit train manufacturing. In 2019, the latter generated around 2.9 billion euros in revenue of rail activities, compared to Alstom’s 8.2 billion euros. Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier is projected to therefore make it the second global leading rolling stock manufacturer, behind the CRRC.
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