Centrica says earnings will be hit by nuclear checks

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Centrica (LSE: CNA.L - news) said on Thursday that a shutdown at four reactors at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool nuclear power stations operated by its partner EDF Energy would hit its earnings for the year.

EDF (Paris: FR0010242511 - news) said in August it would inspect the reactors as a precautionary measure was taken after the discovery of a crack on a component known as a boiler spine at Heysham 1. It said on Thursday that the reactors would be out of action until between the end of October and the end of December.

Centrica, which has a 20 percent stake in EDF Energy's existing nuclear operations, said the shutdowns would reduce its earnings per share in 2014 by between 0.6 and 0.9 pence, including the 0.3 pence it predicted in August. (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Michael Urquhart)