Electricite de France, Europe's largest electricity provider, has reported an impressive increase in its annual profit for 2006, due in the main to increased margins outside its core domestic market.

Net income for fiscal 2006 came in at E4.2 billion, up 47.3% on 2005. Earnings before considerations (EBITDA) amounted to E14.4 billion. Sales were E58.9 billion, with organic growth of 11%. However, in Europe excluding France, they were up 19.7%.

The strong increase in profit was down to increased prices in EDF’s non-domestic markets, along with positive margin developments. However, the energy giant has warned that French government moves to reintroduce regulated tariffs for SME businesses will restrain growth in 2007.

Pierre Gadonneix, EDF’s chairman and CEO, commented: EDF’s 2006 operating and financial results are in line with announced targets. 2006 was marked by an acceleration in the group’s investments, particularly in France, against a backdrop of high energy prices in Europe and moderate tariff increases in France.