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Nexans Sees Higher Connector Sales for Power-Line Communication

Nexans SA, the world’s second-largest cable maker, plans to boost sales of accessories such as connectors and sensors as it develops a technology that allows uninterrupted transmission of data through power lines.

“We’re developing complete solutions that will ensure communications through transformers, which were acting as a dam so far,” Alain Robic, general director of Nexans Power Accessories France, said in an interview in Paris.

“This could add 30 percent to our accessories revenue at some point,” Robic said, without giving a timeframe. Sales of low- and medium-voltage accessories account for “a bit less” than 200 million euros ($262 million) of annual sales, he said.

Nexans, based in the French capital, makes products ranging from energy lines to cable for Airbus SAS aircraft. It had 6.92 billion euros of sales last year. The new technology, which is being tested in five pilot projects and could be marketed starting in 2015, will allow grid operators to monitor and control networks through existing power lines without relying on telecommunication operators, Robic said.

Nexans said on Oct. 22 that its second-half margin wouldn’t rebound as much as it previously expected because of a slowdown in Europe, Brazil and Australia. The company predicted in July that there would be a “significant” increase in second-half profitability as it progressively fixed production issues at an underwater-cable plant in Norway.

The company’s total operating margin narrowed to 3.6 percent of revenue in the first half from 5.1 percent a year earlier.

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