April 14, 2015 / 7:24 AM / in 2 years

French Nexans sees 10 pct growth in subsea cables-paper

PARIS, April 14 (Reuters) - French cable maker Nexans expects to see 10 percent growth per year in its subsea cables activities and plans to boost investment in the unit, its chief exective told French daily Le Figaro.

An EU recommendation to boost power interconnections between countries and a boom in offshore wind parks have driven European demand for direct-current subsea high-voltage cables that can transport electricity over long distances.

“High-voltage submarine cables are one of our most profitable and fastest-growing activities. We expect 10 percent growth per year in coming years, as we have seen in recent years,” new CEO Arnaud Poupart-Lafarge was quoted as saying.

Nexans plans to boost its subsea cable capacity with a 35 million euro investment after winning a 500 million euro contract to link Norway with Germany by 2019, another Nexans executive was quoted as saying.

Mid-February, Nexans and Swiss engineering group ABB won contracts to supply and install the first power link between Norway and Germany.

The high voltage direct-current (HVDC) interconnector, NordLink, will be over 600 km (373 miles) long, including a subsea section of more than 500 km, and will have a capacity of 1,400 megawatts (MW).

Italy’s Prysmian SpA, the world’s biggest cable maker, has also given an upbeat outlook for its submarine cable business.

Poupart-Lafarge was appointed in October after a shareholder revolt over the firm’s poor performance. The company posted a 2014 net loss of 168 million euros after booking a net loss of 333 million euros in 2013.

Nexans said in February it would focus on cost cuts this year and has warned of possible job cuts. Its shares have gained more than 27 percent over the past three months. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Leigh Thomas)

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