PARIS (Reuters) – EDF announced on Friday that it had returned to solid profits in 2023, thanks to the rise in electricity sales prices and the recovery in production at French nuclear power plants, and reduced its debt by more than 10 Billions of Euro’s.

The public electrician, however, had to record a depreciation for the British Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project and for goodwill of EDF Energy, to the amount of 12.9 billion euros, after the announcement in January of a new delay and additional cost.

While sources said France wanted a new financial contribution from the British government to EDF’s nuclear power projects in Britain, CEO Luc Rémont said the group was discussing long-term financing for Hinkley with London. Point C and Sizewell C, a project for which it has not yet made an investment decision.

“I would like to point out that the Hinkley Point C project is still a profitable project for the EDF group,” he told journalists during a conference call.

Evoking “exceptional results”, EDF recorded for 2023 a net profit share of the group of 10.0 billion euros (compared to a loss of 17.9 billion in 2022), a profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and depreciation (Ebitda) of 39.9 billion (compared to -5 billion) and a turnover of 140 billion (-2.1%).

Its net financial debt stood at 54.4 billion euros at the end of 2023, compared to 64.5 billion at the end of 2022. Its cash flow reached 9.3 billion last year (compared to -24.6 billion ), which enabled it to finance net investments of around 19 billion.

The group, of which the French State once again became the sole shareholder last June, specified that for 2026 it was targeting net financial debt to Ebitda of less than or equal to 2.5 times (compared to 1.36 at the end of 2023) and an economic debt adjusted to adjusted Ebitda less than or equal to 4 (compared to 2.26).

EDF also confirmed its nuclear production targets in France of between 315 and 345 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2024, and between 335 and 365 TWh in 2025 and 2026.

While, according to sources, the group is struggling to deploy its new commercial policy, the basis of an agreement concluded in November with the French State, Luc Rémont stressed that the average price of electricity of 70 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh) – to which EDF is committed – was already taking shape.

“We continue to conclude contracts with all manufacturers and all companies that wish to do so,” he said.

(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet; editing by Zhifan Liu)

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