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Fukushima disaster pushes France's Areva to record loss
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) March 1, 2012

French nuclear energy giant Areva reported Thursday a record loss for 2011 after taking massive provisions in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima disaster but reaffirmed its forecasts to 2016.

Areva said that, with the Fukushima meltdown jeopardising the outlook for the whole nuclear industry, it had to write down the value of key assets, such as its uranium mines, by some two billion euros.

The result was a 2.42 billion euros loss compared with a 2010 net profit of 883 million euros.

In December, Areva warned that it would take a hit of 1.46 billion euros to cover the revaluation of its Uramin unranium mines to 410 million euros, about a fifth of their purchase price in 2007.

Other provisions in 2011 covered the dismantling of nuclear installations, slower activity as a result of the Fukushima disaster and delays at its Olkiluoto project in Finland.

The results are the worst since Areva was formed in 2001 from the merging of Cogema, Framatome and CEA Industrie.

The group said that despite the loss, it still expected organic sales growth of 3.0 to 6.0 percent in 2012 and 2013, increasing to 5.0 to 8.0 percent in 2015 and 2016.

Areva also said that it had agreed the sale of its 26 percent stake in the Eramet mining company to state investment fund FSI for 776 million euros.

The disposal is part of planned sales worth up to 1.2 billion euros this year and next which it announced as part of efforts to strengthen its finances.

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