Listed firms posted record losses

The financial results of the companies listed on the Athens bourse have registered a new record in the first nine months of the year, in that they have posted total after-tax losses of almost 7.5 billion euros.

Out of the 243 firms listed on the ATHEX, 156 reported losses in the year to September and just 87 managed to remain in the black, with the total balance coming to 7.485 billion euros. This is the worst record since 1957, when statistical data were first recorded.

In the first nine months of last year the balance of financial results was positive, with gains adding up to just under 480 million euros, while in the first six months of this year losses came to 5.2 billion euros.

Manos Hatzidakis, head of the analysis division at Beta stockbrokers, commented that ?the end result is disappointing as even if banks were not included, total profits in the third quarter of the year would be at just 138 million euros, which was just the profits of [gaming company] OPAP for the July-September period.

?If you also consider the fact that a series of companies with grave losses are not included due to having ended their activities, having delisted or having not publishing their financial figures, then the picture becomes even worse. The ratio of profit-making to loss-making companies in the Athens bourse has stayed at the worst point of the last decade as only one in three companies reaps profits and only one in five (57 in total) has fared better than last year.?

A total of 17 companies (amounting to 7 percent of all stocks) are unable for a fourth consecutive quarter to issue their quarterly accounting details.

Exporting firms are the leading profit makers: Coca-Cola HBC sits on top of the profit-making companies list with no more than 10 percent of its production channeled to Greece, followed by Frigoglass, whose exports account for 80 percent of its output.

Estimates for the fourth quarter put total after-tax losses at 10 billion euros for the whole of 2011. Just four years ago total profits had come to 11.7 billion euros.

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