Suez Environnement says first-half profits doubled
Europe's second-biggest water company Suez Environnement said on Wednesday its first-half net profit more than doubled, buoyed by the sale of a stake in a Chinese electricity company.
Net profit rose to 280 million euros ($375 million) in the first six months of the year, up from 132 million euros a year ago, the company said in a statement.
That was boosted by a 129 million-euro gain from the sale of its indirect stake in Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM) and confirmed its objectives for 2014.
"On the strength of these sound results and promising developments, Suez Environnement reaffirms its annual targets" of 2.0-percent organic growth, said chief Jean-Louis Chaussade.
The news sent shares up more than 3 percent to 14.47 euros.
Like many other European companies, Suez Environnement also reported a drag on profit from adverse currency movements, which cut revenue by an estimated 168 million euros.
Weaker results from its international operations helped to drag group revenues down 2.1 percent from a year earlier to 6.9 billion euros.
Its European water business, however, saw an organic 3.6 rise in revenue to 2.2 billion euros thanks to price increases across all its markets.
"The first half results are broadly in line with expectations" with "strong growth due to capital inflows," said analysts at Deutsche Bank.
They predicted that adverse currency movements could continue to have a negative effect this year, but expect that earnings could start to grow faster into 2015.
© 2014 AFP