Trade to see revenue decline by over 50 pct

Greek retailers and wholesalers will see revenue fall by as much as 53 percent in 2012 as the country?s fifth year of recession will continue to hit sales, the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) said on Monday.

Greece?s unemployment rate soared to a record 22.5 percent in April amid a slump deepened by austerity measures linked to two bailouts the country has received.

Retail sales fell 11.6 percent in the same month.

Greece?s coalition government is still working on another package of measures worth 11.5 billion euros before officials representing the so-called troika of creditors arrive in Athens on Tuesday.

The average level of revenue in 2012 for 3,000 retail and wholesale companies surveyed by the confederation will be 144,508 euros, down from 309,888 euros in 2011 and 425,329 euros in 2009, the Athens-based trade group said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

The firms from across Greece forecast their profit this year will fall to an average of 22,730 euros, a decline from 25,199 euros in 2011 and 49,213 euros in 2009, according to the statement.

The companies predicted that the number of workers they employ will fall to an average of 2.58 people in 2012, compared with 3.01 in 2011 and 3.67 in 2009, the survey found.

Given such operating conditions, and at a time when retail and wholesale companies are unable to secure new financing from banks, Greece must introduce a law to protect heavily indebted companies, the confederation said.

Of the companies polled, only 27 percent had managed to get bank loans with the average amount at 145,495 euros.


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