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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 11:24 GMT
Boost for high-speed train maker
TGV high-speed train
Sales doubled at Alstom's transport division, which builds the TGV
Shares in the world's biggest train maker, Alstom, have jumped almost 6% after the firm reported better-than-expected results.

The French engineering giant posted a 20% surge in third-quarter sales.

There was strong demand for Alstom's power generating equipment in countries such as Brazil and China.

The company is also leading a consortium that has won a $1.3bn contract to build a high-speed rail link in Argentina.

Latin America's first high-speed train line
Covers 700km between Buenos Aires and Cordoba in 3 hours
Completion due in 2011

Argentina's President, Cristina Kirchner and the French Transport Minister, Dominique Bussereau, signed a letter of intent in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

The 700km link is due to be completed in 2011 and will connect Buenos Aires with the north-eastern city of Cordoba.

With top speeds of 300kph (186mph) the trains should cut the trip time to three hours from 14.

Remarkable turnaround

Orders at Alstom's transport division doubled over the 9 months to the end of December, including deals to supply high speed trains for the Helsinki to St Petersburg rail link, suburban trains in Spain and tramways in Rotterdam.

Overall Alstom sales rose to $4.11bn in the three months to the end of December, up 20% on the previous year.

The company has seen a remarkable turnaround over the last few years - in 2003 it was rescued from the brink of bankruptcy by a government bailout.

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