In Brief

IOC hails Athens Olympics as a marketing success The International Olympic Committee (IOC) hailed the 2004 Athens Olympics as a marketing success, in a report released yesterday. «The Athens 2004 Marketing Report heralds the success of Olympic marketing programs and the power of Olympic partnership,» IOC President Jacques Rogge said in the introduction to the document. According to the document, 3.58 million tickets were sold in the August 13-29 Games – more than in the Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 Games but short of the 6.7 million tickets of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Ticket sales generated revenues of 202.5 million euros (260 million dollars) compared with initial forecasts of 183 million euros. The IOC called the Games’ licensing programs a «tremendous success» as license fees reached 86 million euros, beating forecasts by 26 percent. Retail sales of Olympics products totaled 530.2 million euros, less than the 770-million-euro sales projected in a March 2002 report by Athens Olympics organizers ATHOC. The Games’ sponsor program fetched more than 300 million euros against initial estimates of around 200 million euros. The sale of television broadcast rights generated 1.48 billion euros. (AFP) Eurocopter beats Sikorsky, AgustaWestland to win Bulgarian deal SOFIA (Reuters) – New NATO member Bulgaria signed a deal yesterday to buy 18 military helicopters from Eurocopter, the helicopter arm of aerospace firm EADS, the Defense Ministry said. Under the deal, which a ministry source said was worth around 300 million euros ($391.1 million), Eurocopter will deliver 12 Cougar AS 352 and six Panther AS 323 tactical helicopters to Bulgaria over the next three years. The order is larger than one originally announced in November, when the ministry said it would buy only 12-16 Cougar helicopters for an estimated 120 million euros. The deal is one of 11 projects worth around 1.5 billion levs ($999.3 million) with which Bulgaria is upgrading its largely Soviet-era materiel to NATO standards. «This is the biggest contract for the modernization of the army signed so far,» Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolai Svinarov told reporters. Eurocopter beat out United Technologies Corp’s Sikorsky and Italian Finmeccanica unit AgustaWestland in the contest for the contract. Credit expansion slows Greek total credit expansion slowed to 8.1 percent year-on-year in November from 9.0 percent in October, Bank of Greece said yesterday. But consumer and mortgage loans were still growing at a strong pace. Total household credit accelerated to 28.4 from 27.4 percent in October. Earlier this week, the central bank raised the required provisioning for consumer credit. It said consumer loans that are non-performing for more than one year must hence be provisioned at a 90 percent level from 74 percent previously. (Reuters) Fee frozen OTE Telecom will freeze a 40.6-million-euro payment to three firms while it hires an adviser to look into whether the fee for technical services is justified. The payment is for technical services provided by Greek telecoms equipment maker Intracom, Siemens and ANKO between 2003-2004. In a statement late Thursday, OTE said it hired a separate adviser to review the value of the technical services offered by its suppliers. (Reuters)