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Suez Posts 6.7% Full-Year Revenue Increase

Suez, the French utilities company seeking to merge with natural gas distributor Gaz de France SA, reported a 6.7% increase in revenue for 2006 on Thursday, boosted by high electricity and gas prices.

Revenue rose to 44.29 billion euros ($57.37 billion) last year from 41.49 billion euros in 2005, the Franco-Belgian energy, water and waste company said.

The figure missed the 45.1 billion euros ($58.4 billion) forecast by analysts in a Dow Jones Newswires poll.

Organic revenue growth, a figure that excludes the effect of natural gas prices and business that have been bought or sold, was 8.2%, the company said.

The energy division in Europe posted a 12.5% jump in revenue to 15.97 billion euros ($20.69 billion), mainly on higher power prices throughout the continent.

The energy division outside Europe reported sales up 6.2% to 6.24 billion euros ($8.08 billion), Suez added, while the energy services division posted a 3% rise to 10.64 billion euros($13.78 billion).

The water and waste division experienced a modest 3.2% growth to 11.44 billion euros ($14.82 billion), Suez said.

Suez shares rose as much as 39 euro cents (51 dollar cents), or 1%, to 38.00 euros ($49.23) in Paris.

Suez's merger with GDF, announced in February 2006, has been left in limbo after France's Supreme Court said it must wait until July 1.

Despite political uncertainties, Suez and GDF recently said they are aiming to get their shareholders to vote on their tie-up at the end of June.