Newly public EDF doubles net profits in 2005

23rd February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 23, 2006 (AFP) - French energy group EDF, the biggest nuclear power producer in the world, said that its net profit had doubled in 2005, boosting its shares which have risen by 33 percent since being floated on the Paris stock exchange in November.

PARIS, Feb 23, 2006 (AFP) - French energy group EDF, the biggest nuclear power producer in the world, said that its net profit had doubled in 2005, boosting its shares which have risen by 33 percent since being floated on the Paris stock exchange in November.

EDF reported late on Wednesday that net profit had totalled EUR 3.242 billion last year, double the figure for 2004 of EUR 1.6 billion on a comparable asset base.

The group, one of biggest electricity producers in Europe, said that it had benefited from increased energy prices and from new production facilities in markets outside France.

The price of shares in EDF rose sharply in morning trading and then settled at EUR 42.60 in the early afternoon, a gain of 1.84 percent. The shares have risen by 33 percent since their launch on November 21 when the French state sold 15 percent of the company to investors.

The chairman and chief executive of EDF, Pierre Gadonneix, said in a statement: "The objectives we had announced for 2005 have been achieved, and even beyond, thanks to very good performance in all our entities."

The results from EDF were delivered in a context of upheaval and change in the European energy market.

Earlier this week, E.ON of Germany sprang a surprise 29.1-billion-euro bid for Spanish energy group Endesa, sparking speculation about possible takeovers and consolidation in the European market.

The industry has been buffeted by sharp criticism from the European Commission, which has said it will investigate "serious malfunctions" in the European gas and electricity market and will probe suspected anti-competitive practices by some suppliers.

A breakdown of the EDF results showed that the company had improved its profitability in Germany, Hungary and Poland and the region it calls "rest of world". Earnings from the French and British markets fell, however.

Net profit in France fell by 13.2 percent to EUR 1.5 billion and declined by 6.9 percent in Britain to EUR 442 million.

Germany contributed 224 million euros to group earnings, an increase of 47.4 percent compared with the figure for 2004 owing to subsidiary EnBW, EDF said.

Earnings in the "rest of Europe" region grew strongly, reaching EUR 870 million, "driven most notably by the operating results achieved by EDF subsidiaries in Hungary and Poland".

For the "rest of world" region, EDF said it had made a net profit of EUR 205 million, a reversal of losses of EUR 1.145 billion in 2004 which resulted from the write-down of assets owned by EDF in the region.

An improved operating performance in the region "was mainly due to the commissioning of new generation facilities in Mexico and Asia as well as to more favourable market conditions in Brazil", EDF said.

EDF also said it had benefited from foreign exchange gains in Brazil.

EDF, which produces 74 percent of its electricity from nuclear power stations, generates about a quarter of all Europe's electricity. It is the biggest generator in Europe and the biggest nuclear-power generator in the world.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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