In Brief

PPC first-half results below expectations The Public Power Corporation (PPC) reported a bigger-than-expected 23.4 percent drop in first-half net profit yesterday, hit by a sharp rise in oil prices and carbon emission costs. The country’s dominant electricity producer, which is 51 percent state-owned, said net profit fell to 147.7 million euros against an average forecast of 160.3 million euros in a Reuters poll of 13 analysts. «The significant increase in fuel prices together with the further increase related to the first-time implementation of the Kyoto Protocol… impacted profits for the first half,» PPC’s Chief Executive Dimitris Maniatakis said in a statement. The utility’s fuel costs rose by 23.3 percent to 398.6 million euros, with the additional cost of carbon dioxide allowances at 45 million euros. PPC said its share of the loss posted by Tellas, the fixed-line telephone joint venture between the utility and Italian telecoms firm Wind, narrowed to 5.9 million euros from 7.0 million a year earlier. (Reuters) Minoan cuts losses as market shares soar Ferry operator Minoan Lines narrowed its first-half loss to 6.2 million euros ($7.46 million) from 6.7 million euros in the year-earlier period, the company said in a statement yesterday. Group revenues rose 4.6 percent to 83.4 million euros, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell to 18.1 million euros from 18.5 million euros a year ago. The company, which operates ferries on Greece-Italy routes and from Piraeus to the island of Crete, said an increase in tourism in comparison with 2004 would help offset soaring fuel costs, which have risen over 60 percent. Minoan added that it had increased market share on its Adriatic and domestic Greek ferry routes. Its share of passengers on its Greece-Italy routes rose to 35.8 percent from 35.2 percent in the year-earlier period, while its share of passengers on Piraeus-Crete routes rose to 73.3 percent from 71.2 percent. Minoan shares closed 6.98 percent up at 2.76 euros yesterday. (Reuters) Germanos Phone and accessories retailer Germanos posted a 15.1 percent rise in first-half group net profit to 27.7 million euros ($33 million) yesterday. Sales grew 17.2 percent to 429.6 million euros, with foreign operations accounting for 25.8 percent of the total, up from 16.8 percent last year. There was a first-time contribution to group first-half results from mobile telephony service provider Unitel of Uzbekistan, in which Germanos has a 20 percent stake, and full consolidation from subsidiaries in Cyprus, Ukraine and Poland. The company reiterated its 2005 targets for earnings per share (EPS) growth of 13-15 percent and revenues growth of 15-17 percent. (Reuters) Geniki Bank Geniki Bank, majority-owned by France’s Societe Generale, returned to profitability in the first half of the year, posting a net profit of 8.6 million euros ($10.35 million), against a loss of 38.3 million euros a year earlier. (Reuters) Turk BusinessWeek BusinessWeek magazine and Istanbul-based Infomag Publishing Company (Infomag) yesterday announced an agreement to publish a weekly Turkish-language edition of BusinessWeek. The first issue is scheduled to launch in November 2005.