The partly-privatized French energy giant EDF has seen its H1 sales grow ahead of expectations, while its shares surged on the back of a possible regulated tariff increase.

First half 2006 sales grew by 20.5% to E30.4 billion. This significant growth includes changes in the scope of consolidation worth E1.9 billion, notably the consolidation of Edison, and a foreign currency effect of E126 million, the firm said in a statement.

Excluding foreign currency, accounting methods and consolidation effects, organic growth stood at 12.3%, driven by international markets, which were up 20.7%. French sales grew by 7%.

The increase in sales confirms EDF’s sound positioning in Europe…The investment program currently implemented, in particular in new generation facilities, will strengthen EDF’s position as a strategic player in the energy sector, stated Pierre Gadonneix, the group’s chief executive.