ECONOMY

In Brief

Confidence in industry makes impressive rebound in May Greece’s seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for industry returned to positive ground in May, rising to 52.2 points from 49.1 in April, reaching its highest level since January, according to a survey of 300 enterprises compiled by NTC research. The index indicates contraction below 50. The manufacturing component rose for the second straight month, while employment expanded marginally for the first time since September 2002. Export orders rose at the fastest rate for 11 months. According to a statement by the European Commission, the overall index of economic confidence in Greece advanced 0.2 percent in May from April. Confidence advanced in industry and retailing and declined among consumers and in construction. Listed firms report small recovery in Q1 profits IT group Informer reported a 1.37-percent growth in first-quarter profits to 2.1 million euros year-on-year, on a rise in turnover of 12.23 percent to 10.2 million. IT group Datamedia reported net pretax profit after minorities of 76,200 euros in the first quarter, against a loss of 209,400 euros in the same period last year. Group sales fell 11.81 percent to 6 million euros. The improvement in results was mainly due to lower operating expenses, Datamedia said. The company is liquidating holdings to reduce bank borrowing. Construction group Themeliodomi reported first-quarter pretax profit of 724,400 euros on turnover growth of 37.8 percent to 30.6 million euros. The group had reported a loss of 891,800 euros in the same period the previous year. The group said in a statement it estimates 2003 profits of 11 million euros on a turnover of 120 million. Defense The government will promote mergers of public defense industries and privatizations, with a view to restructuring and strengthening the sector, Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said in Thessaloniki. «We are also promoting cooperation with other European defense industries in the production of weapons systems,» he said. Greek defense spending in 2003 had fallen to 3.5 percent of GDP after a long time, Papantoniou said. Digital TV Alpha Copy has signed a commercial agreement to supply Nokia subscription cards and decodifiers for digital TV platform Nova through about 100 Nokia Shops. Alpha Copy is the largest distributor of Nokia products in the Balkans and Cyprus. Insurance The Association of Insurance Companies-Greece (EAEE) has reiterated its call to the government to establish a new oversight authority for the industry, with clear and decisive responsibilities and properly qualified staff. EAEE said in a statement that the recent Stathopoulos report on the industry is the product of long dialogue and a serious basis for new legislative provisions. Receiver An Athens court yesterday appointed a receiver for cosmetics chain Yvonni Stores, after accepting an application by the firm to declare it in a state of temporary bankruptcy. Yvonni Stores employs about 120.