December 17, 2015 / 9:44 PM / 3 years ago

Areva sees better than expected 2015 cashflow; in talks over sale of TA unit

PARIS (Reuters) - French nuclear group Areva AREVA.PA revised its 2015 target for net cashflow from operating activities on Thursday, to about minus 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) compared to an initial forecast of minus 1.7 billion to minus 1.3 billion euros.

A view shows the Areva Tower, the headquarters of the French nuclear reactor maker Areva, at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau -

Including net savings already generated by a competitiveness plan announced earlier this year, negative net cash flow would be 0.9 billion euros, Areva said in a statement.

The group said it still expected a “heavy” net loss for 2015, hit by the provision for restructuring announced on July 30 and other additional provisions, which would be its fifth consecutive yearly net loss.

The nuclear industry has not yet recovered from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, with Germany and other countries phasing out nuclear capacity and Japan struggling to restart its closed plants.

Areva, which is majority owned by the French government, said it is in talks about selling its Areva TA division, which makes nuclear equipments for France’s flagship aircraft carrier.

The French government would become the direct majority shareholder in the unit alongside other existing shareholders.

French daily La Tribune reported on Tuesday that the government was planning on buying 50 percent of Areva TA, while military shipping company DCNS was expected to increase its stake to 20 percent and nuclear research institute CEA would buy 20 percent.

Areva also said negotiations with EDF (EDF.PA) about the sale of a majority share in its Areva NP nuclear reactor making unit was making progress and would be completed in the early part of next year.

On the sale of its nuclear radiation measurement unit Canberra, Areva said it expected firm offers to be submitted by the end of the year, in view of a sale in 2016.

U.S. radiation detection and protection group Mirion Technologies and investment funds Apax Partners, 3i and Triton are in the running to bid for Canberra, a source told Reuters earlier this month.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by David Goodman and Andrew Heavens

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