PPC core profits more than triple

PPC core profits more than triple

Greece’s biggest power utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) said on Thursday its second-quarter core profit more than tripled from a year earlier, helped by a plunge in oil and gas prices this year.

PPC, which is 51% state-owned and plans to switch off all its coal-fired plants but one by 2023, said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at 275.3 million euros, up from €75.6 million in the same period last year.

It said its costs fell sharply as prices of fuel and natural gas for its plants, and carbon emissions costs, have fallen sharply due to the impact of the coronavirus.

PPC, which provides 66% of Greece’s electricity, has seen its finances suffer in recent years and still has more than €2.7 billion in unpaid bills owed by customers who struggled during the country’s economic crisis.

The utility said it was still having difficulties in collecting the bills, while revenue also dropped 11.7% to €1 billion on lower market share and weaker electricity demand during a lockdown that Greece imposed in March to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Chief Executive Officer George Stassis was confident the utility would overshoot its 2020 EBITDA target, which was €650-700 million.

EBITDA is now expected to reach €850-900 million as energy costs continued to drop, he said.