ECONOMY

In Brief

Construction firms maintain momentum in profit growth Greece’s biggest construction firm Hellenic Technodomiki said yesterday that pretax earnings grew 24.15 percent to 69.91 million euros in the first half year on year, on a 40.13 percent rise in turnover to 461.99 million. Its group partner Aktor reported a pretax profit of 64.83 million euros on a turnover of 459.69 million. Rival Michaniki announced that pretax profit after minorities grew 43.3 percent to 12.51 million euros in the first six months, with turnover 38 percent higher at 76.74 million. The group said short-term debt was down to 41.8 million euros and long-term debt almost at zero. Olympic private accommodation program nearing finalization The two consortiums that are to operate the officially approved private accommodation schemes for the Athens 2004 Olympics, Alpha Hospitality (tel 210.3266.156) and Hellenic Hospitality (tel 210.6849.222), are expected to sign the final contracts next week. The schemes will run for two months, between July 10 and September 10 next year, and the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) will be responsible for surveying and certifying apartments at a fee of 50 euros. Houses will have to be insured against earthquakes for the one month of the Games. Homeowners may also lease their property through travel agents. Other results Games of chance software maker Intralot said group pretax income grew 25.3 percent to 55.3 million euros in the first half year on year, on turnover growth of 11.8 percent to 173 million. The company said it is steadily expanding its operations abroad and is among the three largest firms of its kind worldwide in terms of turnover and earnings. Catering chain Everest reported a slight rise in group profits before tax and after minorities in the year ended June 30 to 4.72 million euros from 4.70 million in the preceding 12 months. Sales grew 30 percent to 63.68 million euros. The group said in a statement it is planning a strategic restructuring program, with recently acquired Olympic Catering playing a significant role. Papastratos Philip Morris International is expected to complete the due diligence process it is conducting in Papastratos, Greece’s biggest tobacco firm, in which it is to acquire a 75 percent interest. The maximum price per share has been set at 18.15 euros, excluding a 1.15-euro dividend for 2002. When the acquisition is completed, Philip Morris is expected to make a public offer within 30 days for the remaining shares, at at least the same price. Delta Singular Dubai Internet City has given the go-ahead to the establishment of Delta Gulf Services, a joint venture of Greece’s IT firm Delta Singular with Gulf Investment Corporation. The new venture will promote and expand Delta Singular’s IT outsourcing services in banks and other firms of Gulf states and Saudi Arabia, in the field of processing credit card transactions. Intracom Telecom equipment maker Intracom, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, has signed a 5.8-million-euro contract with the Merchant Marine Ministry to expand the Vessel Traffic Management and Information Services system in the Petalioi Gulf west of Attica and in the sea area including the isles of Andros and Kea.