Areva First-Half Earnings Drop as One-Time Items Aren’t Repeated

Areva SA, the world’s biggest supplier of nuclear fuel and services, reported a 42 percent decline in first-half earnings as one-time items from last year such as some insurance payments weren’t repeated.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, fell to 473 million euros ($625 million) from 817 million euros a year earlier, Areva, based near Paris, said today. Excluding one-time items, Ebitda rose 11 percent as sales climbed. Areva reached breakeven at the net income level, after a net profit of 80 million euros a year earlier.

“The turnaround in performance continues with significant Ebitda improvement,” Chief Executive Officer Luc Oursel said in the statement. “Especially in our nuclear operations, where profitability levels are clearly outpacing sales revenue.”

Oursel decided in December 2011 to reduce investment and cut costs by 1 billion euros by 2015 to shore up a balance sheet that had been impaired by construction delays at a nuclear plant in Finland, soured investments in African uranium mines and nuclear plant closures in Japan and Germany. The company sold 1.2 billion euros of assets last year.

Areva, controlled by the French state, said today it targets an Ebitda of more than 1.1 billion euros in 2013, restated for the impact of disposed assets. It repeated its goal to return to a break-even in operating cash flow before tax this year, even as it trimmed its target for revenue at its renewable energy division to 450 million euros from 600 million euros.

“The greater attention paid to cash generation is also bearing fruit with the group’s return to positive free operating cash flow in the second quarter and throughout the half-year period for nuclear operations,” Oursel said.

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