French energy firm hammered by sunny skies and sliding oil prices

Adam Hignett
The French company is planning to build wind turbines in France with nuclear company Areva
FRENCH energy firm GDF Suez blamed warm weather and a decline in oil prices for a fall in profits, leading the company to announce a short-term restructuring plan.

The group, which also experienced problems with its Belgian nuclear reactors last year, saw revenues for 2014 fall seven per cent to €74.7bn (£54bn).

The firm said it expected the ongoing rout in oil prices to have a significant impact on the business in the short term, estimating it would cost the company €900m in profits during 2015. In response, the company has implemented a reaction plan for 2015 in order to mitigate some of these effects. The new strategy includes cutting back around €2bn from its investment budget over the next two years.

The firm has also received guarantees about nuclear reactors in Turkey and wind turbines in France that it is planning to build with nuclear group Areva.

Commenting on the results, chief executive and chairman Gerard Mestrallet said: “We have also redefined our strategy in a clear manner: to be leader in the energy transition in Europe and to be the benchmark energy player in fast growing markets. Thanks to these new orientations, GDF Suez has pursued its development in Europe in renewable energies and services, and in all its businesses at the international level.”

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