July 29, 2016 / 5:26 AM / a year ago

French and Benelux stocks-Factors to watch on July 29

PARIS, July 29 (Reuters) - Below are company-related news and stories from French and Benelux media which could have an impact on the region's markets or individual stocks.

EDF

Britain's government has said it will launch a new review into a controversial project to build two new nuclear reactors led by French utility EDF EDF.PA, the country's first new nuclear plant in decades.

The news of the British review came after the board of French EDF EDF.PA on Thursday gave the go-ahead for the project.

Separately, EDF said it has entered exclusive talks with state-owned bank Caisse des Depots and its unit CNP Assurances to sell them a 49.9 percent stake in power grid unit RTE.

SANOFI

French drugmaker Sanofi's SASY.PA sales and profit fell in the second quarter despite double-digit growth at biotech arm Genzyme, as the diabetes division continued to come under sustained U.S. pricing pressure.

L'OREAL

French cosmetics giant L'Oreal OREP.PA took a 447 million euro impairment charge in its first half results on the carrying value of two acquisitions, China's Magic Holdings face mask provider and sonic skin care Clarisonic.

KERING

Kering's PRTP.PA flagship fashion brand Gucci on Thursday posted forecast-beating second-quarter organic sales growth of 7.4 percent, driven by solid demand for the brand's new looks designed by Alessandro Michele, particularly in Western Europe.

SAFRAN

France's Safran posted an 11.8 percent rise in first-half core profit on Friday, driven by demand for aircraft equipment like wheels and brakes, and reaffirmed core financial targets.

VINCI

Europe's biggest construction and concessions company Vinci SGEF.PA on Friday said its order book was building up, notably in France, as it reported a 1.5 percent drop in first-half revenue.

ESSILOR

The French lense maker confirmed its objective of increasing organic growth to more than 6 percent by 2018 as it reported first half revenues of 3.583 billion euros.

NATIXIS

French investment bank Natixis CNAT.PA reported a fall in second-quarter net profit on Thursday but said its profitability targets were still on track and it planned to present a plan in November to improve efficiency.

CASINO

Retailer Casino said its core French operations returned to profit in the first half 2016 and it told investors that it was on track to achieve its full-year goal for a rise in profit in the country, handing them an interim dividend of 1.56 euros per share for 2016.

AIRPORTS

France has chosen the winning bidders for the sale of 60 percent stakes in the French airports of Nice Cote d'Azur and Lyon-Saint-Expury and expects proceeds of almost 1.8 billion euros ($1.99 billion), the economy ministry said on Thursday.

ECONOMICS

French economic growth stalled unexpectedly in the second quarter from the previous three months on weak consumer spending and a drop in business investment, the INSEE national statistics agency said on Friday.

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