ECONOMY

In Brief

CosmOTE profit grows, Q-Telecom expects breather next year Mobile operator CosmOTE, a subsidiary of OTE telecom and Greece’s leader in the market, yesterday reported a 15.3 percent growth in its first-half net income to 114.69 million euros, on the back of a 32 percent rise in traffic to 2.1 billion minutes. Revenue was up 13.1 percent to 608.85 million euros, while operating profit (EBITDA) was 11.4 percent higher at 263.69 million. CosmOTE said stronger demand offset the 25 percent average reduction in rates. The group’s Albanian subsidiary AMC accounted for 8 percent of the group’s turnover and 10.7 percent of its operating profit, while its net profit margin stood higher than 30 percent. Separately, Q-Telecom, the alternative and smallest mobile telephony operator, which started business in June 2002, pulled into the red the results of parent IT group Info-Quest, which reported losses of 6.08 million euros in the first half on sales of 212 million euros. IT sales were down year-on-year 6 percent to 45.8 million euros but pretax earnings shot up about 180 percent to 4.8 million. The group expects a significant improvement from already contracted business in coming quarters. Q-Telecom’s loss reached 11.8 million euros (operating loss 4.88 million) on revenue of 26.8 million. The firm said it attracted about 15 percent of new mobile connections in the first half, and it expects sales to top 60 million euros in 2003 and positive operational cash flows in 2004. Bank of Cyprus does better in Greece, Egnatia misses some data The Bank of Cyprus group yesterday announced a 35.1 percent fall in first-half pretax earnings to 11.6 million Cyprus pounds, mainly as a result of provisions of 54.9 million pounds for bad debts. The group’s subsidiary in Greece reported a 44 percent rise in core earnings to 31.4 million euros; its total assets rose 19 percent to 4.9 billion euros. Net interest income rose 31 percent to 56.3 million euros year-on-year, loans topped 3.18 billion euros and deposits 3.56 billion, representing respective Greek market shares of 3.29 percent and 2.55 percent. Separately, smaller competitor Egnatia Bank reported 1.89 percent growth in group net pretax profits to 15.4 million euros. Commission income rose 16.1 percent to 22.8 million euros but the bank did not report interest or trading income. Deposits were up 19.27 percent and loans 10.71 percent. Stock market Internet provider OTEnet has launched a new service, MarketEye, updating users in real time on trading in the Athens stock and derivatives exchanges. The service, which is offered through three-, six-, and 12-month subscriptions, costing respectively 81, 153.90 and 291.60 euros (plus 18 percent VAT) also provides a wide range of facilities and statistical data to investors. Scholarships Business consultants firm PricewaterhouseCoopers is offering six 4,500-euro scholarships to graduate students in the fields of economics, management or technology for the academic year 2003-2004. For details: tel 210.6874028.