The world’s largest nuclear reactor operator Electricite de France SA (EDF), has cut its full-year profit target after equipment problems and strikes lowered nuclear production.

The state-controlled utility lowered its full-year outlook for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to ‘close to’ the 2008 level compared with an earlier target of ‘moderate’ growth this year.

EDF forecast net income from ordinary operations ‘should decline’ this year after a drop in the first half compared to a previous outlook that stated it will not increase further.

During the fourth quarter and particularly since the end of October “the nuclear fleet in France experienced several unplanned outages,” according to the statement, citing steam generator and alternator equipment replacement.

Output should be around 390 terrawatt hours (tWh) this year, the company said.

Sales in the nine months through to 30 September increased 6.7% to €48.3bn ($72.4bn) from €45.3bn a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

EDF came under pressure last week to raise the number of reactors online as concern grew about reliance on power imports this winter and the possibility of power cuts, reports Bloomberg.

The utility also said demand dropped 8tWh, with a rise in household demand by 4tWh offset by a drop of 12tWh from industry, EDF said.