ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE warns of lower income, says telecoms regulator partly to blame OTE, Greece’s former telecommunications monopoly and still dominant fixed-line operator, announced yesterday that «full-year 2004 operating income before depreciation and amortization in its Greek fixed-line activities should be significantly below previous (estimates) and comparable to 2003 performance.» As the company explains, «fixed-line operating revenues have been significantly impacted by the Regulator’s decision to impose a lower tariff on a number of products and services.» These are not specified but include, notably, tariffs charged on fixed-line competitors to use OTE’s network. Other factors weighing on results include «continuing increases in personnel expenses and other operating expenses, only partly attributable to the 2004 Olympic Games.» OTE’s chairman and CEO, Panayis Vourloumis, said the company will reorganize its operations and proceed to cut jobs («headcount reductions») to address the «urgent» situations. Turkey’s second-quarter jobless rate drops below 10 pct ANKARA (AFP) – The unemployment rate in EU hopeful Turkey is expected to be 9.3 percent in the second quarter of 2004, down from 10 percent in the same period last year, the State Statistics Institute (DIE) reported yesterday. The number of jobless in the second quarter stood at 2.269 million, compared with 2.418 million in the same period last year was, the DIE said. Unemployment in first quarter this year was at 12.4 percent, up from 10 percent for the same period in 2003. Unemployment in Turkey stood at 10.5 percent in 2003, 10.6 percent in 2002 and 8.5 percent in 2001, according to DIE figures. Job cuts Cyprus Airways announced yesterday it will ax 12 managerial posts with hundreds more jobs to go as part of a cost-cutting survival plan. The cuts are part of a radical restructuring package aimed at reducing the state-owned airline’s debts of more than 40 million Cypriot pounds ($80 million). The plan aims to save 25 million pounds a year by cutting jobs, trimming the fleet, selling off subsidiaries, abandoning lossmaking routes and outsourcing services. A spokesman said the total number of job losses was «somewhere in the region» of 350. Cyprus Airways proposes to lay off 135 permanent staff, mainly pilots and cabin crew, plus seasonal workers. Two Airbus A320s will be withdrawn from service and scheduled flights to Birmingham in England, to Budapest and Warsaw will be axed. The airline reported net losses of 29 million pounds for the first half of this year, up sharply on a 19 million pound loss in 2003. (AFP) Revised estimates Bottler Coca-Cola HBC announced yesterday a downward revision of its profit estimates for 2004. «We… expect to report full-year EBITDA slightly below our guidance of 10-12 percent issued at the beginning of the year. In addition, we anticipate our full-year volume growth to be slightly softer than our guidance, at approximately 5 percent, as we continue to be focused on growing our business profitably,» said Managing Director Doros Constantinou.