Shares in EDF have jumped - but not because of last night's Hinkley Point decision

Emma Haslett
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Decommissioning Of Nuclear Power Stations In The UK
The dials are at zero now - but businesses hope the government will give Hinkley Point the green light (Source: Getty)

Shares in French power giant EDF were up more than 10 per cent this morning - but it wasn't just investors rewarding its board for finally getting around to making a decision on the construction of the much-delayed Hinkley Point C.

Shares rose 10.5 per cent to €12.16 in Paris, after results posted by the company showed net income fell more than 17 per cent to €2.5bn (£2.1bn), while sales dropped 4.6 per cent, to €38.8bn.

Admittedly that's not a great figure - but the fall was less than analysts had expected - hence that rise in prices.

EDF was taken by surprise last night, after its board finally came to a decision over the future of two nuclear reactors at the Hinkley Point power station in Somerset.

The reactors have been subject to a will-they-won't-they saga even the most dramatic of soap operas couldn't muster - but last night EDF confirmed it will go ahead with the plant, despite the estimated £18bn cost.

Just when we all thought it was going well, though, British energy minister Greg Clark threw a spanner in the works. Although the government had been expected to sign contracts with EDF there and then, Clark actually said it won't make a decision on the plant in the autumn.

Businesses have urged the government to get on with it.

“Significant investment in nuclear, renewables, gas and shale is urgently required to meet the needs of businesses and consumers, following the planned shutdown of older and dirtier power plants," said the British Chambers of Commerce.

"While there will always be debate around the cost of major projects, the price of inaction is larger still.

“Ministers should now do everything in their power to ensure that new schemes in North Wales, Cumbria, Suffolk and elsewhere also get the green light in the months ahead. The Autumn Statement should be used to 'crowd in' massive investment in energy generation and transmission, which has both present and future benefits to UK business and the wider economy.”

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