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PARIS, April 26 Areva, the world's
biggest maker of nuclear plants, posted a 2.4 percent rise in
first-quarter revenues as growth in reactor services more than
offset a decline in its uranium transformation business.
Revenues reached 2.03 billion euros ($2.68 billion) in the
quarter, a 1.3 percent like-for-like gain compared with the
year-earlier period, the French state-controlled company said in
a statement on Thursday.
Areva's order backlog stood at 45.1 billion euros as of
March 31, a 3.7 percent increase from a year earlier, when
Japan's nuclear disaster had begun to dampen demand for nuclear
energy. The backlog was down 1 percent from its level at the end
The nuclear disaster at Fukushima, caused by an earthquake
and tsunami, led some countries to cut their reliance on nuclear
energy, but Areva is counting on demand from emerging economies
where energy consumption is booming.
Areva's so-called front end unit, which transforms uranium
concentrates into nuclear fuel for power generation, posted a
17.2 percent sales decline to 432 million euros as a uranium
enrichment contract with French utility EDF expired.
The backlog nonetheless increased 3.2 percent to 18.5
billion euros, thanks to other contract wins with
state-controlled EDF, Areva's key customer accounting for a
quarter of total revenue last year.
The services and reactors business increased revenues 5.8
percent to 782 million euros, with maintenance in the U.S.
offsetting a decline in Germany. The unit's backlog was up 17.4
percent to 8.71 billion euros thanks to an EDF inspection
contract covering 58 reactors.
Areva is also present in renewable energy and as part of a
consortium recently won a tender to build one of four wind farms
off the French coast.
($1 = 0.7559 euros)
(Reporting by Caroline Jacobs)