\r\nAdjusted Ebit for the period was \u20ac231m, an increase of 16% from 2016, which lead to an adjusted Ebit margin of 6.2%. Net income reached \u20ac213m and free cash flow amounted to \u20ac227m.\r\n\u201cThese six first months were marked by the good execution of our various projects as shown by solid operational results in line with our 2020 objectives,\u201d Poupart-Lafarge says. \u201cSystems sales have strongly increased, supported by the progress of Dubai and Riyadh metros projects. The construction of factories in South Africa and India continues. Our innovation capacity is highlighted by the first commercial success for the Coradia iLint, the world\u2019s first hydrogen train.\u201d\r\nAlstom announced a future tie-up with Siemens at the end of September, and Poupart-Lafarge says work is progressing on the deal. \u201cAt this stage discussions with employee representatives are ongoing and the deal implementation teams are operational,\u201d he says.\r\nAlstom\u2019s first half sales result compares with \u20ac6.212bn reported in the same period in 2016 when the company secured several high-profile contracts, including the supply of high-speed trains for Amtrak in the United States, and the extension of Dubai\u2019s Red Line in the UAE. The company had an order backlog of \u20ac32.7bn on September 30.\r\nSignalling, systems, and services accounted for 57% of total sales in the first half, which is in line with the 2020 objective of 60%. Rolling stock sales remained steady at \u20ac1.6bn. Alstom also committed \u20ac101m, or 2.7% of sales, towards research and development in the first half.