The heads of French nuclear reactor firm, Areva, are looking to trim costs by €1bn each year as it seeks to address a record loss of €4.8bn for 2014.

Voluntary redundancies are expected and “a more extensive asset disposal” programme will be given more detail later this year according to Philippe Varin and Philippe Knoche, the new chairman and chief executive at the state-controlled nuclear reactor maker.
Philippe Knoche
Areva has fared badly post-Fukushima and hasn’t sold a nuclear reactor in seven years.It issued its fifth profit warning in seven months as cost overruns ballooned on key European projects.

Unveiling a turnround plan, Mr Knoche pledged to simplify the group’s operations, trim costs to save €1bn each year and “refocus on core nuclear processes”.

Capital expenditure will be €3bn or less in the next two years, versus the €4.6bn between 2012 and 2014, and Areva will also embark on “a more extensive asset disposal” programme.

The three-year plan would deliver a group capable of financing its own investments by 2018, said Mr Knoche.

Emmanuel Macron, French economy minister, speaking to Le Figaro, suggested that EDF could even take a stake in Areva or some of its activities as part of a wider effort to revive France’s flagging nuclear export initiative.

Areva is also scaling back in renewable power, which has been a heavy drain on cash, planning a joint venture for its wind business and signalling a search for a partner in bioenergy.