Areva Fourth-Quarter Sales Drop 4.2% as Mining Revenue Declines

Areva SA, the French maker of atomic reactors, reported 2012 sales that missed analysts’ estimates as uranium mining and processing revenue dropped in the fourth quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue declined 4.2 percent from a year earlier to 2.8 billion euros ($3.8 billion), the Paris-based company said in a statement today. Full-year sales climbed 5.3 percent to 9.34 billion euros, compared with the 9.54 billion-euro average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company, which is cutting spending and selling assets to shore up a balance sheet that has been impaired by construction delays at a nuclear plant in Finland and soured investments in African uranium mines, reduced its 2013 earnings forecast last month.

“The growth of sales revenue in nuclear is slightly lower than forecast due to the shifting of deliveries initially scheduled for the end of 2012 to the beginning of 2013,” Chief Executive Officer Luc Oursel said in the statement, adding that results were also hurt by “provisions recorded for a power plant modernization project.”

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will exceed 1.1 billion euros in 2013, down from a previous forecast of at least 1.25 billion euros, the company said in December.

“Cost reduction efforts deployed throughout the group more than offset the impacts in terms of Ebitda and free operating cash flow expected for 2012,” Oursel said.

For 2012, Areva had forecast sales growth of 4 percent to 6 percent in the nuclear business and an Ebitda of more than 950 million euros.

The company’s backlog was little changed at 45.4 billion euros at the end of 2012.

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