Areva profits up 60%

3rd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

French nuclear group Areva on Thursday reported net profits of 883 million euros ($1.2 billion) in 2010, a 60 percent increase thanks to the sale of its transport and distribution sector.

The results were nonetheless lower than market expectations of close to a billion euros, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Company chief executive Anne Lauvergeon spoke of a bright outlook for 2012, including a "double-digit operating margin and significantly positive free operating cash flow."

The profits were boosted by an earlier underestimate, by 1.2 billion euros, of the sale of the transport and distribution network to the Alstom and Schneider groups.

Excluding that amount, the operating income plunged into the red by 423 million euros, against a profit of 97 million euros in 2009.

The operating profits were themselves hit by several one-off elements.

The world's top uranium producer firstly took a 300 million euro depreciation in some of its mines and another 121 million euros with the closure of its enrichment plant at Tricastin.

Finally the group included a 367-million-euro provision to cover project overruns.

The company's revenues were up 6.7 percent to 9.1 billion euros.

There was no share dividend, unlike 2009 when Areva paid out 250 million euros.

© 2011 AFP

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