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26-07-2012 18:59:00

UPDATE: Areva Raises its Guidance After Strong Earnings

Relateret indhold

--Areva's net debt remained stable in spite of 900 million euros investments

--Backlog has grown 4.8% to 45.2 billion at end June from a year earlier

--Areva maintains 2013 and 2015-2016 targets

(Adds detail, background.)

PARIS--Areva SA (AREVA.FR) raised Thursday its full-year guidance as it reported a substantial increase in first-half earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, driven by higher nuclear and mining revenues as well as disposals and the first results from the cost-saving plan.

The state-controlled nuclear engineering company said it now expects 2012 Ebitda of over 950 million euros, from a previous target of 750 million euros. It still sees 2013 Ebitda at 1.25 billion euros in 2013.

The stronger performance comes as good news as the group has undergone a slim-lining program following costly delays for the construction of third-generation nuclear plants, while the Fukushima nuclear disaster has substantially dented the commercial prospects for nuclear reactor makers.

"Ongoing efforts begun in late 2011 to reduce operating costs, with savings measures at the end of June 2012 implemented for nearly 20% of the objective set for the group through 2015, on an annual basis, another 45% of the objective being secured in addition," chief executive Luc Oursel said.

The group, which also suffered from major write-downs on its uranium mining assets, still believes that nuclear is to remain a reliable source of energy on a long term, notably in Asia.

Areva signed last week a cooperation agreement with Russian state-owned Rosatom, setting up working groups on services to existing nuclear reactors, the handling of nuclear waste and supply chain for nuclear plants.

In the first half, the group's net profit dropped to 80 million euros from 361 million euros a year earlier, dented by net borrowing costs while the disposal of a stake in mining group Eramet SA (ERA.FR) meant that contributions from associates was lower than a year earlier.

Revenue over the period was up 8.3% to 4.33 billion euros, following 3.99 billion euros a year earlier.

Areva restated its last year figures to discount the 648 million euros penalty it received last year from Siemens AG (SIE.XE) and the divestitures which occurred during the first half this year.

The group also benefited from the execution ahead of schedule in its asset disposal program, with 961 million euros mainly collected during the first half year and reiterated its objective of at least 1.2 billion euros for the 2012-2013 period to be met this year with the recently announced disposal of La Mancha Resources for about 315 million Canadian dollars ($310.7 million.)

Shares in Areva over the past 12 months have lost more than 55% of their value on the worries related to the impact of Fukushima on the group's outlook, as well as the massive write-down on the mining assets.

Shares closed Wednesday at 11.71 euros.

-Write to Geraldine Amiel at geraldine.amiel@dowjones.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2012 12:59 ET (16:59 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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