EDF Finances Rebounded In 2018

French nuclear power utility EDF, majority owned by the French government, said its end-of-year results for 2018 exceeded market forecasts for the company with a gross operating surplus of 11 percent.

EDFThe company announced its financial results Feb. 15, but Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Jean-Bernard Levy said that the figures were in line with EDF’s expectations. “The rebound in our results in 2018 has occurred and is in line with our forecast,” he said.

EDF’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came to $18 billion in 2018, a jump of 11.3 percent from 2017, hitting the company’s target. Among the accomplishments of the year, Levy noted that the company’s debt of $37.9 billion had been stabilized. The company is now more aligned to the country’s energy targets and EDF has strengthened its supply business, Levy said, according to the World Nuclear Association report.

Levy said EDF would be a leader in the transition to a national generation mix that relied less on nuclear power, which amounted to 75 percent of its electricity production in recent years. The government is aiming to reduce that to 50 percent by 2035.

Levy also said the 2018 commissioning of the world’s first EPR reactor (in Taishan, China) to be an event that would “revitalize,” the nuclear power industry in France, although new orders for EPR unites have not materialized. 

In the face of repeated delays in EPR construction in Europe, EDF said in 2015 it was adapting the EDF design to make it cheaper and easier to build. The original third generation design was created by Famatome with input from EDF and Siemens of Germany.

The second EPR scheduled to go on line is also in Taishan, China. It is scheduled for start up this year. Four are under construction in Europe, one in France and one in Finland, both nearing completion. Two others are under construction at Hinkley Point C in Britain. Construction is in the early stages at Hinkley.

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