Nexans SA (Euronext: NEX), the world’s second- biggest cable maker, fell the most in more than three years after predicting a drop in first-half earnings because of production delays at its submarine-cable plant in Norway.

Nexans fell as much as 15 per cent to 37.24 euros, the steepest decline since February 2009, reports Bloomberg.

Nexans power cabling

“We’ve lost about $66m in sales, which have been pushed back for two to three months” because of the late production in Norway, Chief Executive Officer Frederic Vincent said in a telephone interview today. “For the full year, we’re not providing guidance because we’re facing quite a volatile situation,” and the company is being “particularly vigilant” about the European economy.

Excluding high-voltage cables, the operating margin will rise from a year earlier during the first half, the CEO said.

Repairs of production tools at the Norwegian plant are proceeding, and operational difficulties “should be progressively absorbed in the second half,” Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Badre said on a call with journalists today. In submarine cables, Nexans may return to an operating margin of 10 per cent to 15 per cent “toward 2013,” the CEO said.

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