Get 40% Off
🚀 AI-picked stocks soar in May. PRFT is +55%—in just 16 days! Don’t miss June’s top picks.Unlock full list

Exclusive-EDF warns of 1 billion euro loss due to French strikes, reviews hiring - sources

Published 04/13/2023, 07:59 AM
Updated 04/13/2023, 08:06 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Electricite de France (EDF) is seen in Paris, France, March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

By Benjamin Mallet

PARIS (Reuters) -French utility EDF (EPA:EDF) has warned drawn-out strikes at its nuclear reactors and hydro-electricity plants have cost it 1 billion euros ($1.10 billion) in lost output and that it is reviewing hiring plans for the year, three sources said.

Two of the sources, who are union members and were briefed by two EDF executives in separate conversations last week, told Reuters they were informed that EDF management had asked all divisions to see which hires could be postponed to next year.

An EDF spokesperson told Reuters that a moratorium had been imposed on hirings. The spokesperson did not elaborate on the reason and declined to comment on the strikes' financial impact on the group, which is in the process of being fully nationalised.

The financial hit incurred from the industrial action, confirmed to Reuters by a third source inside the company, follows a record loss in 2022 when the utility was bedevilled by reactor outages.

It comes as EDF's new chief executive draws up a plan to ramp up nuclear production and lighten the group's heavy debt load.

The French economy ministry declined to comment.

The group had originally planned to hire between 3,000 and 3,500 people in 2023, mostly in nuclear production and sales, one of the sources said.

The same source said that disruption to nuclear reactor maintenance and repair works caused by more than a month of strikes against a deeply unpopular pension reform could result in delays of between 18 to 24 months to the maintenance schedule.

That in turn could jeopardise EDF's nuclear production forecasts for the year at a time when the utility was hoping to rebound from a 34-year output low in 2022, when it was hammered by an unprecedented number of outages at its reactors.

The financial hit will complicate matters for new EDF boss Luc Remont, tasked with putting the group back on track after it slumped to a record net loss of 17.9 billion euros ($19 billion) last year.

Lower output from the company's nuclear plants forced EDF to buy electricity on the market to supply its customers just as Russia's invasion of Ukraine pushed power prices sharply higher across Europe.

Its earnings were also hit by government measures to cap the increase in electricity bills for French households and protect them from rising inflation.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Electricite de France (EDF) is seen in Paris, France, March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The group's net debt rose to 64.5 billion euros in 2022, up from 43 billion a year earlier.

($1 = 0.9072 euros)

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.