Profit falls at utility GDF Suez amid Europe woes

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — Franco-Belgian utility GDF Suez says its earnings fell more than 60 percent in 2012 compared to the year earlier because the company booked a €2 billion ($2.6 billion) impairment on its European assets in anticipation of the region's continued economic malaise.

The company said Thursday that its net income fell to €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) last year, down from €4 billion in 2011. Without the charge and only counting recurring operations, net income would have been €3.8 billion.

Revenues increased 7 percent to €97 billion ($127 billion). Much of that growth happened in Asia and the Middle East, where the company is expanding. Its French business also saw a jump as it recoups money from customers after a state body struck down a government-imposed freeze on natural gas prices.

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