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Business

Energy giant Areva announces savings plan on huge losses

French utility company Areva has confirmed record losses linked to project delays and other factors. The nuclear group announced its savings targets, saying it was aiming to get out of the woods in three years.

French nuclear power group Areva confirmed record 2014 net losses of 4.8 billion euros ($5.3 billion) which it had incurred not least because of costs linked to a number of project delays.

The utility, which is 87-percent owned by the French state, has suffered in recent years as interest in nuclear power has cooled after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Areva took a particular hit last year from delays in building its Olkiluoto III nuclear plant in Finland, but also experienced difficulties with its renewable energy contracts.

Focusing on core businesses

The French firm announced it would make savings of about 1 billion euros over the next few years, with a concrete financing plan to be presented by the end of March.

Areva had indicated earlier it would cut investments and step up sales of non-strategic assets as it tried to shore up its finances.

At the same time, the group is accelerating plans to enhance cooperation with state-controlled electricity provider EDF and build up its presence in China.

CEO Philippe Knoche said the company should be able to finance itself again within three years.

hg/bk (AFP, dpa)

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