Another year of strong growth -- EDF Nouvelles results

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EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN), the renewables arm of French utility EDF, reports a year of strong growth in 2008, with wind energy once more providing the key driver. "This success is due to the global energy context which sees governments promoting policies in favour of our industry," said Pâris Mouratoglou, chairman of EDF EN, on announcing the group's 2008 financial results.

Earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) grew 60.8% to reach EUR 215.9 million for the year. In the US, however, EBITDA fell, accounted for in euro, from EUR 68.2 million in 2007 to EUR 64.4 million because of the depreciation of the dollar. Company net profit rose 35.4% to EUR 69.6 million, while gross installed wind capacity grew 66.7% to end the year at 2030.6 MW. Of this, 712.7 MW is in America, with the rest split between Portugal (475.8 MW), France (263.4 MW), Italy (234.1 MW), Greece (149.4 MW), Britain (143.2 MW), Turkey (49 MW) and Germany (3 MW). In the last quarter of 2008 alone, the group commissioned 433.5 MW in America, Portugal, France and Italy, including the last phase of Europe's largest wind farm, a 240 MW plant at Ventominho in Portugal. EDF EN reports 887.8 MW under construction on December 31, of which 560.2 MW is on its own account.

As more capacity was brought on line, revenues from generation grew steadily, rising 30.9% to EUR 228.5 million at the end of 2008. Operation and maintenance posted a 118% increase, reaching EUR 24 million, thanks to contracts signed by American subsidiary Enxco. Also in the US, the delivery of the Walnut wind farm in Iowa and Grand Meadows in Minnesota, with a combined capacity 253.5 MW, helped boost revenues from the sale of assets up 51.8% to EUR 569.1 million.

While EDF EN admits that financing projects will be more difficult going forward, it expects growth to continue strongly in 2009 and is aiming at an EBITDA target of EUR 280-300 million. The group also reiterated its target of 4 GW net capacity, including 500 MWp of solar, by 2013.

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