Sales, earnings fall in all sectors

The deterioration in financial results and turnover has spread across all financial sectors, according to a survey on Greek entrepreneurship by the ICAP research group.

The ongoing recession in this country has forced previously profit-making companies to incur losses for the first time ever, as indicated by the analysis of 2010 and 2011 financial reports from 26,616 companies.

Total sales declined by 3.3 percent last year to 168.8 billion euros, from 174.6 billion euros. Gross earnings fell 11.6 percent year-on-year as the cost of sales was not contained, leading to a drop in operating results of 78 percent, or 3.7 billion euros.

The situation was aggravated by the dramatic 91 percent increase in non-operating expenses such as extraordinary losses, reversing total profits of 4 billion euros in 2009 to total losses of 2.33 billion euros in 2010. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dropped by a considerable 25.5 percent to 11.4 billion euros, from 15.4 billion euros in 2009.

The top companies in terms of earnings were the OPAP gaming company, Public Power Corporation, Cosmote and Hellenic Petroleum, all of which are state-controlled.