ECONOMY

Thirteen listed firms worse off in the first half

The improvement in the financial results of listed companies during the first half of the year, even if based to a significant extent on «extraordinary» net gains, was a boost to most companies. But not all. Despite moves to limit expenditures, reduce debts to banks and get rid of troublesome subsidiaries, some companies not only failed to improve their finances but, on the contrary, saw them deteriorate. Kathimerini presents 13 listed companies whose financial statements show losses, a reduced capital base as well as a rise in indebtedness, an alarming combination. The results of Corinth Pipeworks, which recently came under the control of Viohalco, Greece’s premier industrial group, was a big surprise to the market. According to its own statement, the company sustained half-year losses of 24.3 million euros; its operating result was a 17.68-million-euro loss. Its equity capital was reduced by 75 percent, sinking below 15 million euros, and its liabilities jumped by 19.4 percent, to 254.6 million euros at the end of June. To get out of this dire situation, the company decided, in early August, to issue a 100-million-euro bond. Another company in dire straights is Alter TV, which saw all its major financial indicators deteriorate. However, management insists that its «significant» investment will help strengthen the appeal of its offerings and reverse the trend. Significant investments are also the excuse for the poor results of information technology firm Infoquest and Internet services provider Forthnet. Both companies are investing heavily in telecoms and expect good returns in coming years. Two more infotech firms, Microland Computers and Despec Multimedia, are paying for their unsuccessful business ventures of the past few years. They have managed to disperse their capital and increase their indebtedness. Passenger shipping company Strintzis showed operating losses, while it had a profit in the same period last year. However, the first half is not representative of the whole year in this sector. Liabilities are high. Akritas attributed its losses to bad conditions in the wood processing market. It plans to invest 10 million euros to boost production. Daring is a long-time struggling company. Last week, General Bank, one of its creditors, acquired a 45 percent in the company and is looking for a strategic investor. The losses of Lampsa, owners of the Hotel Grande Bretagne, are temporary, due to money spent on extensive renovations.