France‘s state-owned nuclear reactor maker Areva is set to announce large losses, the French industry minister says. Last week demonstrators protested outside Areva’s headquarters in Paris ahead of this week’s meeting.
In an interview with a radio station, Eric Besson said: “I can confirm that Areva will announce losses. In all likelihood they will be big.”
Mr Besson gave no further details as to the scale of the losses.
“Out of the 10 billion euros invested by the company these past (three) years, the company has generated cash to finance only 4 billion. The rest was made through borrowing, a rights issue and the sale of assets,” Oursel said in October.
Areva is expected to take action to tackle sliding profits that could include asset write-offs of more than 1 billion euros when the French state-owned nuclear reactor group unveils a new strategy next Tuesday.
Luc Oursel, in his first major meeting with investors as Areva’s new chief executive, will lay out how he will reshape the group after several governments have abandoned or reviewed their plans for nuclear energy in the wake of Japan‘s Fukushima disaster.
Oursel’s predecessor Anne Lauvergeon, known as “Atomic Anne” was ousted earlier this year. One of France‘s best known executives, Lauvergeon had built Areva into a one-stop-shop, providing services in the entire nuclear business chain from the mining of uranium to doing away with the waste.
“The new business plan will require assets to be written off: mines with delayed production schedules, capitalised R&D, some industrial assets,” Cheuvreux analyst Alfred Glaser wrote in a note. He sees write-downs of 1 billion to 1.5 billion euros.
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