Areva reports profit surge from sale of asset
French nuclear group Areva on Friday reported a surge in first half net earnings to 843 million euros (1.1 billion dollars) from 143 million a year earlier that it attributed to a key asset sale.
Areva said the sale of its transmission and distribution unit to Alstom and Schneider earned it 1.27 billion euros.
At the operating level, which excludes the sale, the company recorded a loss of 485 million euros against a loss of 170 million in first half 2009.
Areva said it recorded a depreciation worth 300 million euros on certain of its mining assets to take account of changes in the price of uranium, of which it is the world's leading producer.
In addition it had to make provisions worth 367 million euros at the end of June to cover cost over-runs linked to delays in the construction of the Olkiluoto nuclear reactor in Finland.
The third generation European Pressurised Reactor, now four years behind schedule because of technical difficulties, is expected to cost 5.6 billion euros rather than the initially estimated 3.0 billion.
The plant is not expected to enter service until late 2012 or early 2013.
The company said sales in the first half rose 6.4 percent to 4.16 billion euros. Orders gained 2.7 percent to 44.06 billion euros.
Areva also confirmed its 2010 financial targets, which call for "significant growth in orders and sales."
© 2010 AFP