| PARIS, March 1
PARIS, March 1 French state-controlled nuclear
group Areva said on Wednesday its 2016 full-year net
loss had narrowed and that it had received no claims from
customers following manufacturing irregularities at its Creusot
Areva, which is being restructured and recapitalised after
years of losses wiped out its equity, booked a 2016 net loss of
665 million euros ($702 million), after losing 2.04 billion
euros in 2015 and 4.83 billion euros in 2014.
The company booked 121 million euros in charges related to
manufacturing irregularities and document falsifications at its
Creusot Forge foundry, mainly due to the cost of an audit and
the cost of re-manufacturing or scrapping components.
Two reactors of French utility EDF have been halted
and utilities and regulators in countries including the U.S,
Britain and China are investigating Creusot-made heavy nuclear
components after Areva discovered in 2016 that shortcuts in
manufacturing had been covered up in tracking documents.
"For now we have had no claims from any clients. We are in
talks with the clients and regulators concerned," chief
financial officer Stephane Lhopiteau told reporters on a call.
The company is in the process of reviewing some 6,000
manufacturing tracking documents by the end of this year.
Areva, which has split off its uranium mining and nuclear
fuel unit NewCo and will sell its reactor unit Areva NP to
utility EDF this year, presented separate pro-forma
accounts for the parts of the group over which it will lose
Areva's NewCo unit saw revenue slide to 4.01 billion euros
from 4.17 billion in 2015, but thanks to cost-cutting the unit
swung into a 440 million euro operating profit, reversing a 100
million euro loss.
"The markets for uranium, conversion and enrichment remain
depressed," cautioned Lhopiteau.
Areva also booked a 316 million euro write down on its
uranium mines and booked a further loss of 116 million euros on
the Olkiluoto 3 reactor under construction in Finland.
Cumulative losses on it now stand at 5.6 billion euros.
Lower interest rates also led to 246 million euros worth of
provisions for decommissioning its nuclear facilities.
Areva's cash burn widened to 621 million euros from 590
million in 2015 but was at the lower end of its guidance.
Lhopiteau said Areva's planned 5 billion two-stage capital
increase - of which 4.5 billion euros will come from the state
and 500 million from Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
and JNFL - was scheduled for June.
He also said he expected that the sale of reactor unit Areva
NP to EDF would happen in the fourth quarter of this year.
($1 = 0.9472 euros)
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)