PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - French power utility EDF said on Thursday net income rose 5.2 percent to 3.70 billion euros as output at its nuclear plants exceeded forecasts and despite a decline in power consumption due to mild weather.
The 84.5 percent state owned firm, the world’s biggest operator of nuclear plants, said core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 7.3 percent to 17.28 billion euros and turnover rose 1.3 percent to 72.87 billion euros.
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S consensus estimates were for a net profit of 4.26 billion euros, EBITDA of 17.02 billion and sales of 73.12 billion euros.
The company said it expected 2015 EBITDA would show organic growth of zero to 3 percent and said it was aiming for a positive cash flow after dividends in 2018.
EDF proposes to pay a dividend of 1.25 euros per share on 2014 earnings, unchanged on 2013 and 2012 earnings and against forecasts for 1.26 euros. Nuclear power production totaled 415.9 terawatt/hour, just above EDF’s 2014 target of between 410 and 415 TWh. Its 2015 target is again 410-415 TWh. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq)