ECONOMY

In Brief

Growth stable in Q2, inflation up in July The economy recorded a 3.5 percent growth rate in the year’s second quarter year-on-year, unchanged from the first quarter, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday. He also said the Consumer Price Index will show a rise in July, with sources suggesting the rise will be around 3.8 percent year-on-year, from 3.3 percent in June. Alogoskoufis attributed the development to the late start of summer sales this year but said inflation will ease in the coming months. Separately, the National Statistics Service said retail sales by value rose 7.6 percent year-on-year in May, accelerating from a 5.6 percent clip in April. In the first five months the rise was 3.6 percent. Competition and regulation weigh down TIM’s H1 results Mobile operator TIM Hellas posted a 31 percent drop in first-half net profit to 19.6 million euros yesterday, hit by competitive and regulatory pressures. The country’s third-largest mobile provider said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 12.6 percent to 103.5 million euros due to slowing revenue growth and the higher cost of handset and accessory sales. Operating revenues declined 3.3 percent to 394.7 million euros. «Total operating revenues came in at lower levels than those seen in the first half of 2004, as increasing competitive and regulatory pressure once more weighed in on the company’s top-line growth,» TIM Hellas said in a statement. (Reuters) Peach problems Peach producers in the prefectures of Imathia and Pella in northern Greece have asked for the prime minister’s help, claiming the price of 0.19 euros per kilo offered by private canning companies does not even cover their costs. Their associations are asking for a price of 0.23 euros and Pella producers’ representatives are threatening resignations and mobilizations. They also threatened to freeze deliveries to juice-producing industries that have offered very low prices. TOUSA expands TOUSA, the US subsidiary of construction company Technical Olympic, has completed the purchase of properties and house construction activities of Transeastern Properties Inc, based in Florida, through a consortium that now owns or controls 22,000 home sites in the state. The purchase is estimated to add $35 million to TOUSA’s net revenues for 2006. Geniki Bank Geniki Bank has completed a 100.1-million-euro share capital increase, which was partly covered by the main shareholder, France’s Société Générale (SG). Before the increase SG had owned 50.01 percent of the bank’s shares.