(Adds detail on mining, nuclear fuel, outlook)
PARIS, April 25 French nuclear group Areva SA
said first-quarter revenue jumped 12.5 percent to
2.28 billion euros ($2.97 billion) as strength in uranium mining
offset slow growth in its reactor business and falling revenue
from uranium enrichment.
Mining revenue rose 26 percent on a restated basis and 44
percent on a comparable basis to 395 million euros as uranium
sales rose strongly and average contract sales prices increased,
it said on Thursday.
Revenue at the firm's nuclear fuel recycling division soared
nearly 50 percent to 566 million euros as deliveries originally
scheduled for the end of 2012 were postponed to early 2013.
But its core reactors and services unit's revenue rose only
3.2 percent to 799 million euros as sales associated with the
much-delayed European pressurized water reactors (EPR) under
construction in Olkiluoto, Finland, and Flamanville, France,
Uranium enrichment revenue dropped 12.6 percent to 378
million due to unfavorable delivery schedules.
The reactor division saw increased demand for safety
improvement solutions in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster
in Japan, including the supply of emergency diesel generator
units in China and emergency services equipment in the United
But the shadow of the accident still hovers over Areva and
its peers. Order cancellations since the accident totaled 1
billion euros at the end of March, compared with 936 million
euros at the end of 2012.
The company's order book backlog was virtually stable at
44.9 billion euros.
Areva has not sold a new reactor since 2007, when China
Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp in Taishan bought two EPRs, but
Areva Chief Executive Luc Oursel still hopes to sell 10 reactors
Its exclusion from a Finnish nuclear tender in February
dealt another blow to the reputation of its EPR reactor and
raised questions about France's ambitious nuclear export plans.
Areva also said on Thursday it had signed an agreement with
China to build a nuclear fuel recycling facility there and
raised the possibility of building a new reactor type with the
Chinese. It gave no timetable or financial details.
Areva's shares rose 8.7 percent.
Areva did not release profit data on Thursday. In February,
it posted a 99 million euro ($129 million) loss, narrowing from
a 2.5 billion loss in 2011.
Areva said that based on first-quarter revenues, it was able
to confirm its growth objectives for 2013. In February, the
group said it expected operating cash flow to return to
breakeven in 2013.
($1 = 0.7689 euros)
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)