Suez boosts profits in advance of GDF merger

7th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 7, 2006 (AFP) - French energy and utility service provider Suez increased first-half net profit by 39.5 percent to a record of EUR 2.2 billion and said on Thursday that it was raising its full-year sales target.

PARIS, Sept 7, 2006 (AFP) - French energy and utility service provider Suez increased first-half net profit by 39.5 percent to a record of EUR 2.2 billion and said on Thursday that it was raising its full-year sales target.

Suez president Gérard Mestrallet also said that a highly controversial plan for his group to absorb state-owned Gaz de France offered "exceptional oportunities for the Suez group".

The plan is to go before the National Assembly (parliament) later on Thursday.

The company's results statement said that the proposal was the one which would "create the most value for all of the parties concerned, shareholders, customers and staff.

"Reassured about our strategy by the quality of our results, we want to accelerate the application of our project for a merger with Gaz de France," the statement said.

Suez said that the first-half profit figure exceeded its expectations and that it was raising its target for growth of sales in the whole year to more than seven percent from 4-7 percent until now.

Mestrallet told a telephone conference: "This is the highest result we have ever achieved in a single half year."

In 2005, net profit for the whole year had been EUR 2.5 billion.

The group also raised its forecast for growth of gross operating profit to close to 10 percent from more than seven percent.

In the first half, this figure showed growth of 10 percent to EUR 3.7 billion.

Net earnings per share rose by 11.7 percent to EUR 1.72.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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