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EDF CEO says in-depth reform still key to group's future

·1-min read
French state-controlled utility EDF Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy attends a news conference at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - An in-depth reform of French power group EDF < EDF.PA> remains key to the future of the state-backed utility, whose overhaul has been delayed by the French government, CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said on Sunday.

EDF must accelerate its development in the nuclear sector and in renewable energy in response to climate change and demand from its customers for carbon-free energy, Levy also told French weekly Le Journal Du Dimanche.

The reform of EDF, involving a broad restructuring of the group and the mechanism through which it sells nuclear power, was supposed to help debt-laden EDF flourish as it competes with rivals investing in clean energy.

While EDF's short-term future is secured thanks to strong first half results and higher electricity prices during the second half,"in medium and long term an in-depth reform remains vital, otherwise EDF cannot remain a top league player," Levy said.

Despite backing from President Emmanuel Macron, who came to power in 2017 and tasked EDF bosses with designing the outline for a new group structure, the overhaul has been caught in wrangling with the European Commission and has come under fire from unions.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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