This performance continues the trend seen over the first quarter of 2007 and reflects the continuation into the second quarter of the climatic factors that affected the start of the year: an exceptionally warm 2006/2007 winter in Europe, followed by a spring season with particularly high temperatures.

Over the first half of the year, volumes distributed in France were down by 25TWh against the comparable period with average weather conditions, whereas in 2006 they were 15TWh above average.

Under average weather conditions, the downturn in group sales was limited to only 0.8%, mainly due to market conditions made difficult by the climate, leading to a lower level of gas production and arbitrage activities.

Taking a closer look, exploration-production sales amounted to E784 million, down 13% compared with E905 million for the same period in 2006. This downturn is due in the main to the reduction in oil and gas sales prices in the first half of 2007 – particularly in the UK – and the negative impact of the euro-dollar exchange rate. It also factors in the group’s lower production levels.

The company’s purchase-sale of energy division recorded sales down 11% at E10.3 billion, compared to E11.6 billion in 2006. Gas sales for the purchase-sale of energy segment totaled 313TWh, down 14% on last year.

Sales to retail customers in France represented 65TWh, compared with 86TWh over the first half of 2006. Sales to business and key account clients in France came to 130TWh at the end of June 2007. In Europe, sales for this client segment have on the whole been stable, coming out at 58TWh, compared with 60TWh in the first half of 2006.

In France, electricity sales and the customer base more than doubled between the first half of 2007 and the first half of 2006, with electricity sales climbing from 1.4TWh to 3TWh. This strong growth has been driven primarily by sales on short-term markets.

In Europe (outside France) sales came to 6.2TWh at the end of June 2007, compared with 6.1TWh in the first half of 2006.