PPC sees 10-pct rise in Q1 profits

PPC sees 10-pct rise in Q1 profits

Greece’s dominant power utility Public Power Corporation reported a 10 percent rise in first-quarter core profit on Thursday, helped by energy savings from declining oil prices and lower provisions for unpaid bills.

PPC, which is 51 percent state-owned, said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose to 345.2 million euros, from 313.9 million euros in the same period in 2015.

Sales dropped 8.8 percent in the first quarter to 1.4 billion euros, hurt by lower demand for electricity, cheaper tariffs and increasing competition from rival power producers.

The utility has been hit by significant provisions for unpaid bills as a protracted recession in Greece and capital controls imposed last June took a toll on households and businesses. PPC has said that overdue bills reached 2.3 billion euros at the end of 2015.