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French nuclear manufacturer Areva reports higher than expected Q4 sales
[January 31, 2008]

French nuclear manufacturer Areva reports higher than expected Q4 sales

(Associated Press WorldStream Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) PARIS_French nuclear giant Areva, which is helping lead a worldwide push for renewed nuclear energy development, on Thursday reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue and said it expects strong growth in its 2008 sales.

State-run Areva, backed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has announced several nuclear cooperation and other deals with countries from China to the United Arab Emirates in the past few months.

Revenue in the three months to Dec. 31 jumped 17 percent to ?3.86 billion (US$5.74 billion), from ?3.31 billion a year earlier and above the ?3.69 billion that analysts had predicted.

For the full year 2007, Areva reported 10 percent sales growth to ?11.92 billion (US$17.72 billion), up from ?10.86 billion in 2006. At the end of December, Areva's backlog stood at ?39.83 billion, up by 55 percent from that of year-end 2006.

Sales at the group's reactors and services business rose by 33 percent in the fourth quarter to ?904 million (US$1.34 billion). Areva has said it plans to build between 100 and 300 nuclear reactors by 2030.

Areva's business of turning uranium ore into nuclear fuel also showed a strong performance, posting 35-percent growth in fourth-quarter sales to ?1.12 billion ($1.66 billion), on the back of higher uranium prices.

Sales at the group's transmission and distribution division, which provides services for electricity transport, were up 16 percent in the fourth quarter to ?1.31 billion (US$1.94 billion), benefiting from major contracts in Libya and Qatar at the end of the year.

The back-end division, which deals with recycling and waste treatment, saw sales fall 23 percent to ?522 million (US$776 million), because of staggered production in the treatment business, Areva said.

Areva plans to report its full-year results on Feb. 26.

The company announced Thursday it has submitted a bid to the South African government to build two third-generation nuclear reactors.

Areva is also seeking to build a uranium enrichment facility in the United States, and is expected to make a final announcement on location in the coming weeks.

Copyright ? 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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