Veolia says foreign water profits to offset declines at home
PARIS, July 1 (Reuters) - French water, waste and energy group Veolia Environnement expects income from its foreign water operations to compensate for lower margins at its water business at home this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
Under pressure from difficult water contract renegotiations with French municipalities, Veolia has looked for new markets abroad and won contracts in the Americas, Central Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Chief Executive Antoine Frerot said long-term water contracts abroad were just beginning to earn good profits after being only marginally profitable in the first few years following contract signatures.
"Foreign water earnings are coming on stream and are compensating for the lower results in France. There is always a point where the two curves cross, and for Veolia this will be in 2014," Frerot told reporters.
He added that he would provide more details on publication of first-half results on Aug. 28.
In 2013, Veolia booked a 135 million euro ($184 million) net loss on revenue of 22.32 billion. The firm's global water revenue fell 4.4 percent to 10.22 billion. ($1 = 0.7331 Euros) (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by James Regan)