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EDF returns to profit on higher electricity prices

(Sharecast News) - French nuclear operator EDF said on Friday it had swung back into the black, boosted by higher electricity prices. The state-controlled firm, which runs Europe's largest fleet of nuclear plants, saw sales ease to €139.7bn in 2023, from €143.5bn a year previously.

But net income surged €28bn to €10bn, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation came in at €39.9bn, up from the previous year's losses of €5bn.

EDF said: "The gradual recovery of nuclear power generation in France, the high price environment in Europe and the absence of regulatory measures of the kind introduced in 2022 were the main explanations for the exceptional improvement in EBITDA."

French nuclear production rose by 41.4 terawatt hours, EDF said, adding that it expected it to rise further in 2024.

Net debt was cut by €10bn to stand at €54.4bn as at 31 December.

Luc Remont, chief executive, said: "2023 marks the return of the company's operational performance at a better level, after a year of industrial difficulties and exceptional regulation unfavourable effects in 2022.

"With these good results, EDF has met its financial targets and reduced its financial debt."

However, the firm booked a €12.9bn impairment charge on the delayed Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset, as costs rose and the schedule of works lengthened.

Remont told reporters that EDF was in discussion with both the British government and other investors about financing for its Sizewell C project in Suffolk.

EDF wants the government to contribute more money to both Sizewell C and Hinkley Point.

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