ECONOMY

In Brief

Cyprus Airways goes into the red, warns of need for drastic measures Cyprus Airways yesterday announced after-tax losses of $41.8 million in 2003, compared to a profit of $21 million in 2002. Chairman Constantinos Loizidis told a press briefing that the adverse conditions of the Iraq war and the economic slowdown in Europe which affected profitability are not expected to be repeated this year, but the company must take «drastic measures to survive and cut costs.» Kathimerini earnings rise; shipping arm applies for listing on ASE Kathimerini publishing group reported an 8 percent rise in net earnings after tax in 2003 to 9.4 million euros. Turnover grew 26 percent to 85.9 million, of which 23.9 million euros was accounted for by wholly owned shipping subsidiary Argonaftis. The parent company realized 28.2 percent profit growth to 2.41 million euros, on a 22 percent rise in turnover to 51.67 million. Management will propose a doubling of the dividend payout for 2003 to 0.20 euros. According to a group statement, Argonaftis has applied for listing on the Athens Stock Exchange – the first oceangoing merchant shipping company to do so. Motor Oil Refiner Motor Oil posted 13.4 percent growth in 2003 pretax earnings to 95.1 million euros, on a 14.5 percent rise in sales to 1,560 million. Profit before tax, interest and amortization (EBITDA) rose 111.8 million euros from 108 million in 2002. The company invested about 86 million euros; it will propose a dividend payout of 0.50 euros per share, representing a 7 percent return. Lavipharm Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics producer Lavipharm announced the sale of its 49 percent interest in Lavicosmetica Cosmetique Active to L’Oreal for 14 million euros. The group reported a 25.1 percent drop in 2003 earnings before tax, interest and amortization (EBITDA) to 12.8 million euros from 17.1 million in 2002. The two figures are not directly comparable, as the 2002 figure included the results of Lavicosmetica. On a fully comparable basis, 2003 EBITDA was up 5.8 percent. Inflation Greece’s inflation rate remained stable at 3.1 percent in January – the highest in the EU, according to the latest Eurostat bulletin. Spain, Ireland and Luxembourg followed with 2.3 percent. HATTA The Hellenic Association of Tourism and Travel Agents (HATTA) has invited political party representatives to address an open event on tourism policy at the Hotel Grande Bretagne on Monday, March 1, at noon. Other speakers will include HATTA’s chairman Yiannis Evangelou and general secretary of the Group of National Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations in the EU, Michel de Blust. Management Hellenic Management Association (EEDE) said management and business strategy guru Gary Hamel will speak in Athens on October 21, 2004.