Areva to post first-half loss, sales drop - Le Figaro

PARIS (Reuters) - Areva will post a significant first-half net loss due to a drop of nearly 10 percent in sales, French daily newspaper Le Figaro reported on Tuesday, citing a source close to the French state, which controls the nuclear reactor maker.

A spokeswoman for Areva declined to comment. The group is due to publish first-half results on Aug. 1.

Areva posted sales of 4.76 billion euros (3.7 billion pounds) in the first half of last year, while net profit was wiped out after it was hit by another provision for its EPR reactor construction project in Olkiluoto, Finland, which is years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget.

Areva has not sold a new reactor since 2007, in a market further weakened by the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, but the group is also suffering as customers rein in spending on after-sales services, Le Figaro said. It had also been hurt by the cost of investing in renewable energy.

The newspaper added, however, that Areva would not register any fresh provisions on the Finnish reactor for the first half.

Areva shares were down 0.5 percent at 15.64 euros by 1016 BST, for a drop of close to 18 percent since the start of the year.

(Reporting by James Regan and Jean-Michel Belot, editing by Louise Heavens)