Firms given one-month extension to adopt IFRS

The head of the Capital Market Commission, Greece’s securities regulator, said yesterday it will extend the May 31 deadline for first-quarter financial reporting under the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by one month. Listed companies must therefore publish first-quarter results under IFRS by the end of June. «There will not be any other extension beyond June,» Alexis Pilavios, commission president, told reporters. The European Union’s 25 countries are moving to a single set of International Financial Reporting Standards this year, which will feature new-style reporting of pensions, share options, goodwill and derivative financial instruments. The EU wants the 7,000 listed firms in the bloc to start using IFRS from 2005 to make it easier to compare companies’ financial performance. The adoption of IFRS accounting rules this year will not affect EFG Eurobank’s outlook for 2005 and 2006, and would show only a small impact on 2004 results, Greece’s third-largest bank announced yesterday. «The shift in reporting standards has no effect on the group’s business strategy and risk management and no effect on management financial targets for 2005 and 2006,» the bank said in a statement. It reiterated a net-profit goal of more than 450 million euros this year, annual revenue growth of more than 15 percent in 2005 and 2006 and annual earnings-per-share growth of more than 23 percent. Eurobank will report first-quarter results under IFRS May 19. The Economy and Finance Ministry said this week the May 31 deadline for first-quarter reporting under IFRS may be extended by a month, with the decision up to the securities regulator. Eurobank said 2004 results restated under IFRS showed a 28 million euro drop in group net profit to 340 million euros, mainly due to one-off items. Total operating income rose by 5 million euros to 1.489 billion euros, shareholders’ equity by 162 million euros to 2 billion euros and total assets by 1.1 billion euros to 33 billion. (Reuters, Kathimerini)

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