AFP - French energy giant Electricite de France (EDF) on Thursday announced a 38.48-percent drop in net profits for 2008 to 3.4 billion euros (4.4 billion dollars).
The profit figure was hit by a one-off payment of compensation to competitors required under French regulation liberalising the market for electricity for industrial clients, EDF said.
This year, EDF boss Pierre Gadoneix said the company would focus on "organic growth through investments, notably in France, improvement in operating performance, integration of newly acquired companies and strengthening of our financial structure."
He said the company would begin a divestment programme to raise 5.0 billion euros without saying which assets would be sold.
Shares of EDF have shed nearly half their value over the past 12 months as power prices and the relative competitiveness of nuclear power have declined along with the oil price.
The company has also taken on debt with an acquisition spree, notably buying British nuclear energy group British Energy.
Its shares closed in Paris on Wednesday at 35.55 euros.