Although orders continued to be cancelled following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, Areva reported that overall sales revenue grew 5.3% in 2012 while its order backlog remained unchanged from the year before.
The Areva group total sales revenue grew to €9.3 billion ($12.7 billion,) in 2012, compared with €8.9 billion ($12.1 billion) in 2011, primarily due to maintenance contracts of existing nuclear power reactors.
Sales revenue from Areva's nuclear operations increased 2.4% in 2012 to €8.6 billion ($11.7 billion), compared with €8.4 billion ($11.5 billion) in 2011. However, it noted that revenue was impacted by delays and cost overruns at the EPR reactor construction projects at Olkiluoto, Finland and Flamanville, France.
While far smaller than its nuclear businesses, revenues from Areva's renewables division grew some 92.3% to €572 million ($780.3 million).
Areva's back-end business group brought the best revenue results - up 9.5% to €1.7 billion ($2.3 billion), with reactors and services growing 7.1% to €3.5 billion ($4.8 billion) and mining up 5.5% to €1.4 billion ($1.9 billion). Revenue was down 10.2% to €2.0 billion ($2.7 billion) for the front-end group.
Meanwhile, Areva's overall order book of €45.4 billion ($61.9 billion) at the end of 2012 remained essentially unchanged from the previous year. This, it said, represents nearly five years of sales revenue. However, the company said that the 10.4% increase in new nuclear orders compensated for those cancelled following the Fukushima accident. The value of the cancelled orders increased from €464 million ($632.9 million) in 2011 to €936 million ($1.3 billion) by the end of 2012.
Areva noted that significant orders in 2012 included a contract worth more than €400 million ($545.6 million) signed in August with Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) for the supply of enriched uranium for the Barakah plant currently under construction in the UAE. Several long-term uranium supply contracts were also signed during the year with US and Asian utilities, as well as with France's EDF. Contracts for the supply of fuel assemblies were also signed with EDF's UK subsidiary and German utilities RWE and EnBW. Areva was also awarded a contract from EDF to inspect the reactor vessels at all 58 of France's reactors.
Revenues from Areva's enrichment business suffered due to the anticipated drop in export sales, particularly in Japan, while sales from its fuel business also fell due to reduced deliveries to Germany.
Areva CEO Luc Oursel commented, "The supply of products and services to existing nuclear reactors around the world constitutes a robust foundation for the group's business and future profitability."
He added, "The growth of sales revenue in nuclear is slightly lower than forecast due to the shifting of deliveries initially scheduled for the end of 2012 to the beginning of 2013 and the automatic impact of provisions recorded for a power plant modernization project."
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News