Beating market expectations Electricite de France SA (EDF) has announced a 6.2 per cent increase in it first-half net profit due to an increase in nuclear output.

The French state-owned power utility also reiterated that it would focus on increasing annual spend on atomic safety and reactor maintenance reports Energy Market Price..

Over the first six months of 2011, net profit rose to EUR2.55bn ($3.65bn) from EUR1.66bn a year ago; analysts had expected EUR2.41bn.

Revenue over the period grew to EUR33.46bn from EUR32.64bn a year earlier, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased to EUR8.6bn from EUR8.1bn.

In France, organic sales soared 3.5 per cent to EUR19.5bn, primarily driven by a 15.5 TWh increase in nuclear output.

While in the UK, organic sales eased 8.5 per cent to EUR4.39bn, following milder weather and the streamlining of EDF Energy’s portfolio of industrial customers. However, EBITDA rose 20.7 per cent to EUR1.17bn due to a 6.2 TWh increase in nuclear production by EDF Energy.

One of EDF’s top priorities was to raise the nuclear output to 218.TWh from 202.9 TWh a year earlier, and based on the first-half performance, the company raised its full-year nuclear output target for 2011 to 411-418 TWh.

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