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Suez reports operating profit fall on delay to Melbourne water plant
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Oct 25, 2012

French utilities group Suez Environnement reported on Thursday a 4.1-percent fall in operating profit for the first nine months of the year to 1.77 billion euros ($2.3 billion).

This was in line with analysts' expectations as polled by Dow Jones Newswires and better than a first-half fall of 7.0 percent.

Sales in the first nine months rose by 1.3 percent which was slightly more than expected, owing to a favourable exchange rate and a good performance by its water activities in Europe.

In the first nine months sales amounted to 11.12 billion euros from 11.0 billion euros expected by analysts.

The group, which is an international player in the market for providing water and waste-disposal services, stood by its targets for the year.

"The performance in the third quarter is an improvement on the outcome in the first half," chief executive Jean-Louis Chaussade said in a statement.

Sales growth excluding changes in exchange rates was 0.2 percent.

Growth of the market in Europe for water services compensated for a setback by international activities which were depressed by 96 million euros due to a delay in the launch of a factory to desalinate sea water in Melbourne, Australia.

The main part of the rise of sales was accounted for by a favourable effect of the fall of the euro against several currencies, which was equivalent to 2.1 percentage points of growth of sales.


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