French utility EDF reports first-quarter sales gains

PARIS, May 12 (Reuters) - French utility EDF on Wednesday said that increased first-quarter earnings gives an indication that the company is on track to maintain its financial targets in 2021 and its 2022 ambitions.

First-quarter earnings increased 6% year on year in 2021 to 21.9 billion euros ($26.57 billion) as sales increased due to better electricity and gas prices and tariff indexations, the company said.

EDF set a target for 2021 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of above the 17 billion euros and confirmed a 2021 nuclear output target in France of 330-360 terawatt hours (TWh).

They added that increased outages are expected this year due to the reactor maintenance schedule, keeping the estimation low.

EDF said they would consider remaining an integrated group as a red line for the restructuring talks, but declined to comment further.

Talks between the French government and the European Commission about the planned reform of EDF remain difficult even though they are making headway, a French Finance Ministry official said on Tuesday. ($1 = 0.8243 euros) (Reporting by Forrest Crellin, additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, editing by Louise Heavens)