* H1 net income 5 bln euros vs 2.3 bln euros a year ago
* Keeps 2022 financial guidance
* Cuts valuation of Nord Stream 1 stake
PARIS, July 29 (Reuters) - French utility Engie
said on Friday it was well prepared for a reduction in
deliveries of Russian gas, as its first-half profits surged on
the back of higher energy prices.
Engie added it was working with the Belgian government on
possibly extending operations at two nuclear units.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has thrown the spotlight on the
Europe's reliance on Russian gas, prompting a scramble to find
alternative energy sources.
Engie's net income for the six months to June 30 rose to 5
billion euros ($5.1 billion) from 2.3 billion a year earlier, as
energy firms cash in on a sharp rise in oil and gas prices
following the invasion.
Engie kept its 2022 financial guidance unchanged, citing
uncertainty over the general energy market environment.
At 0703 GMT, its shares were down 0.4% at 11.97 euros, after
Earlier this week, British rival Centrica reported
bumper first-half profits.
"We have taken actions to significantly reduce and minimize
our exposure to Russian gas and the H1 performance announced
today positions us well to deliver strong results in 2022," said
Engie CEO Catherine MacGregor.
REDUCED RUSSIA EXPOSURE
For winter 2022-23, Engie said it had substantially reduced
the previous exposure to volumes procured from Russia's Gazprom.
For winter 2023-24, it was confident additional volumes
contracted through new supply sources, including liquefied
natural gas, together with an expected decrease in demand,
would help replace the need for Russian volumes and reach
required storage levels.
Engie said it had cut the valuation of its 9% stake in the
Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a key Russian supply route, to 305
million euros, down 259 million euros from Dec. 31.
On the stalled Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Engie, as a lender,
recognized as of March 31 a credit loss of 987 million euros.
This non-operating credit loss did not impact its recurring
profit and loss account, it said.
Engie also announced new measures in France to help
consumers cope with higher energy prices.
It will offer an extra 100 euros on average to the 880,000
of its customers who receive energy vouchers, totalling 90
million euros, and a 60 million euros support fund to help small
and medium-sized companies facing difficulties due to higher
($1 = 0.9791 euros)
(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet and Dominique Vidalon
Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mark Potter)