Utility group Suez reports record annual profits

8th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 8, 2007 (AFP) - French utility group Suez, partner in a controversial merger plan with state-run Gaz de France, announced a record net profit of 3.6 billion euros (4.7 billion dollars) on Thursday.

PARIS, March 8, 2007 (AFP) - French utility group Suez, partner in a controversial merger plan with state-run Gaz de France, announced a record net profit of 3.6 billion euros (4.7 billion dollars) on Thursday.

The group said its net figure had surged 43.5 percent from performance in 2005, and that current operating profit was 4.497 billion euros, a rise of 15.9 percent on a comparable asset base.

The group is embroiled in a plan to merge with Gaz de France, but the deal has been held up by legal difficulties and has been delayed until July, after French presidential elections in April and May this year.

Analysts say the deal would be threatened by a Socialist victory, given the opposition of leading figures in the party and the resistance of trade unions.

In other news on Thursday, Suez said it planned to fold its Belgian holding company Suez-Tractebel into its Belgian electricity unit Electrabel, a transaction covering assets worth 15-20 billion euros, according to Belgium's Le Soir newspaper.

Suez also said it would launch a share buyout offer for the 1.38 percent of Electrabel it does not already own priced at 590 euros per share.

The buyout represents a total investment of 445 million euros.

At the beginning of February, Suez said that its sales in 2006 had increased by 6.7 percent to 44.3 billion euros.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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