GDF Suez reports 3.8-percent sales spurt

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French-Belgian energy group Suez reported on Wednesday a 3.8 percent spurt in nine-month sales and said it expected growth in its operating profit this year.

The company said nine-month sales, which came to 60.1 billion euros (84 billion dollars), had recently benefited from favorable exchange rates and weather conditions as well as acquisitions. Its sales gain had been limited to 0.3 percent in the first six months of the year.

Operating profit in the January to September period was 11 billion euros, a gain of 8.8 percent from the same period last year, driven largely by strong growth in its Suez Environnement subsidiary.

The company said it was sticking to its projection of operating profit "growth" this year but provided no details.

Group debt narrowed 1.7 billion euros to 31.8 billion at the end of September, reflecting the sale of its stake in Spanish firm Gas Natural Fenosa.

© 2010 AFP

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