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BUCHAREST (Romania), August 11 (SeeNews) - Nuclearelectrica, the operator of Romania's sole nuclear power plant Cernavoda, said on Friday its first-half net profit leapt to 133.7 million lei ($34.2 million/29.2 million euro) from 1.73 million lei in the year-ago period driven by increased electricity output and sales.
The company's results for the first half of the year were influenced by a 5.5% rise in electricity produced by Cernavoda NPP to 5.06 GWh, given the significantly shorter planned outage of the unit that was supposed to enter the planned outage programme, Nuclearelectrica said in a statement filed with the Bucharest Stock Exchange, BVB.
At the end of July, the Unit 2 of Cernavoda NPP was reconnected to the grid after disconnecting two times in as many days.
Nuclearelectrica's electricity sales generated revenues of 869.7 million lei in the first half, up 20.2% year-on-year.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by an annual 54.4% to 393.2 million lei in the first half, while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased nine-fold to 147.2 million lei.
The company's total revenue rose by an annual 17% to 876.5 million lei in the first half of the year.
In 2017, the company plans to invest 231.5 million lei, of which more than 196 million lei will be used for upgrade works at Cernavoda NPP, the company said. Nuclearelectrica has invested 21% of the planned annual volume in the first half of 2017.
Nuclearelectrica's net profit dropped 27% to 108.7 million lei last year, influenced by the unfavourable fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, lower regulated energy transport tariffs and lower energy sales.
The Cernavoda power plant, located in southeastern Romania, has two units of 700 megawatts each, which cover roughly a fifth of the country's power needs.
In February, Romania's energy ministry said that it intends to speed up negotiations with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) on the construction of reactors 3 and 4 of Cernavoda NPP. The negotiations with CGN were extended three times last year.
In December 2015, Nuclearelectrica said it expects to set up a joint venture with CGN in 2016 and begin the construction of a pair of new units at the power plant, a project estimated to cost 6 billion euro ($6.5 billion) at the time, in two to three years. Under the memorandum of understanding on the project, the Chinese investor will hold a stake of at least 51% of the joint venture company that will do the job, while Nuclearelectrica will own at least 30%.
Nuclearelectrica shares were traded 0.13% lower at 7.49 lei by 1342 CET on the Bucharest bourse.
The energy ministry holds a 82.4% stake in the company.
(1 euro =4.5780 Romanian lei)