Nuclear contaminates earnings of France's EDF

Paris (AFP) –


France's state-owned energy company EDF saw its profit slip in the first half of the year as two of its nuclear reactors were taken offline due to safety concerns.

Net profit slid 3.7 percent compared to the first half of last year to 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion), while operating profit tumbled 20.6 percent to 7.0 billion euros.

Production of electricity from its nuclear reactors fell 3.9 percent, with two reactors shut down due to concerns about equipment supplied by a contractor.

EDF operates 58 reactors and nuclear is the main source of electricity generation in France.

The company said negative market conditions and obligations to sell nuclear-generated electricity to competitors at a regulated price also hurt its earnings.

Meanwhile hydro power fell by 16.5 percent due to drought.

"In an unfavourable market context and in line with its forecasts, the Group is continuing to implement its performance plan and maintains its annual objectives," EDF's chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy said in a statement.

The firm is targeting a drop in operating profit to between 13.7 and 14.3 billion euros, from 16.4 billion euros last year.

Shares in EDF were flat in late morning trading, while the blue-chip Paris CAC 40 index was down 1.4 percent.