BUSINESS

First-half results show that PPC has averted the worst for now

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy, Business

Public Power Corporation appears to have escaped the risk of financial collapse for now, as PPC’s first-half results and the certified accountants’ report showed a considerable improvement, much to the government’s relief.

However, the bigger picture – that of a troubled loss-making corporation – is still reflected in the figures, which means that structural measures are needed to streamline the business. The positive news is that the certified accountants have eliminated the asterisk concerning the utility’s sustainability from their report and that their doubts regarding its continued operation have been removed.

The PPC group’s first-half losses dropped 48.5 percent from the same period in 2018 to 274.8 million euros. Nevertheless, its operating profits (excluding the 99.3 million euros from the return of the renewable energy source account surplus) came to just 9.3 million euros, against 366 million euros a year earlier. Turnover was up 94 million euros, or 4.3 percent year-on-year.

Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis expressed his satisfaction with the results announced by the utility, saying on Tuesday that “we have averted PPC’s bankruptcy” and that “the effort continues for the streamlining and development of the country’s energy pillar.”

He added that a legislative intervention will follow next month to free PPC from the strangling framework of the state regarding its operating activity, and stressed that the other measures, such as the part-privatization of grid manager DEDDIE, will become more specific later on.

Hatzidakis also referred to the prime minister’s announcement that all lignite power plants would be closed by 2028, saying that the details will be made known soon. An integrated set of state-funded measures will be introduced and talks are already under way with the local communities that will be affected, he said.

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