EDF’s financial director, Xavier Girre, refuted any “manipulation” or any “dismissal” following information from the Figaro asserting that its subsidiary EDF Trading would have lost this sum by speculating on the energy markets.
On October 30, the daily said that EDF Trading had lost 400 million euros at the beginning of October due to the bet of a trader who “speculated on a future drop in so-called + winter peak France + electricity”. This trader would have “seen his access to market software suspended, and a dismissal procedure would be initiated against him”, according to Le Figaro.
The daily also believes that this loss would have been quickly offset by gains in the market.
“Contrary to what has been written in certain press articles, there has been no manipulation within EDF Trading and no employee has been made redundant”, declared Xavier Girre during a conference with financial analysts on the group’s results.
“The market was extremely volatile, particularly at the end of September, beginning of October”, “we saw during this period unprecedented turbulence for a very short time” and EDF Trading “managed this situation carefully”, indicated the director financial, without further comment on the amount advanced by Le Figaro or the operation itself.
Very profitable business
For his part, during a hearing in the Senate, the CEO of the electricity giant, Jean-Bernard Lévy, declared: “We do not comment on our trading activities, every six months we publicly communicate the economic result of our trading activities. I remind you that they are absolutely essential”.
He also said that these activities were for EDF “very profitable as shown by the results that we are producing semester after semester, and we will produce the results of the trading activity in the second half of February with our other results”.
On Wednesday, EDF reported a 62% jump in EDF Trading’s turnover over the first two months of the year.
When the Figaro article was published, EDF made no comment. But a source familiar with the matter said that “if a loss had “impacted EDF’s results, it would have been made public”.
For any listed company, as is the case for EDF, a loss liable to modify the announcements made to the markets must be disclosed.