(Bloomberg) -- Electricite de France SA said higher retail power prices will drive further profit growth this year after 2019 earnings beat estimates.

  • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization may rise as much as 7.8% from the 16.7 billion euros ($18.1 billion) it reported for last year, the state-controlled utility said Friday.

Key Insights

  • Last year’s results reflect higher prices in France and the U.K. and a capital gain from the sale of renewable assets, which offset prolonged maintenance shutdowns and unplanned halts at EDF’s aging nuclear plants.
  • In 2020, the company expects to benefit from an increase in French regulated electricity tariffs and a potential rebound in domestic nuclear output.
  • Yet mild first-quarter temperatures and the retirement of two reactors at Fessenheim could hurt profit margins. That makes it crucial to maintain cost savings as EDF struggles to cover hefty capital-spending commitments with cash flow.
  • To keep a lid on debt, EDF has pledged to sell as much as 3 billion euros of assets in the two years to 2020, adding to a previous four-year divestment program. The target includes the sale of shares in CENG, decided on last year and potentially completed in 2021.

Know More

  • EDF sees 2020 Ebitda in the range of 17.5 billion to 18 billion euros, while analysts estimate 17.6 billion euros.
  • The company expects French nuclear production to be between 375 terawatt-hours and 390 terawatt-hours this year, compared with 379.5 terawatt-hours in 2019.
  • EDF will pay a 2019 dividend of 48 euro cents a share.
  • For more detailed earnings data, click here.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francois de Beaupuy in Paris at fdebeaupuy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Amanda Jordan

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