ECONOMY

In Brief

No-flight day due to strikes rattles Greek travel agents Greek travel operators yesterday protested that industrial action by air-traffic controllers, which grounded all flights to and from Greece, should not render it liable to compensation for packages affected by the strike. «The Third World image of a country wishing to be called touristic but which closes its airports, causing problems to tourists and travelers, unfortunately lasts much longer than the mere 24 hours of the strike,» the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) said in a statement. Intralot’s fortunes build upon sales growth Gaming systems operator Intralot’s net profits rose 15.6 percent in the first nine months of the year to 56.9 million euros on strong sales growth, the company reported yesterday. Group pretax profit rose 44.1 percent to 122.8 million euros, under IFRS accounting rules. The world’s third-largest lottery supplier by revenues has said it is targeting full-year pretax profit of 120 million euros and sales of more than 500 million euros. Intralot said it would pay an interim dividend of 0.23 euros per share, up from 0.20 euros last year. The company paid a total dividend of 0.48 euros in 2004. Intralot operates in 32 countries. (Reuters) Aluminium shines Turnover in the sector of aluminium exceeded 3 billion euros in 2004 in Greece, said the president of the Hellenic Aluminium Association, Eleftherios Tafroglou, ahead of the seventh «Aluminium, Constructions and Products» conference, to take place in Halkidiki from November 18-20. The sector, Tafroglou added, is one of the five most dynamic in Greece and exports some 50 percent of its product. Primary manufacturing product sales in 2004 reached a record 150,000 tons, with construction absorbing 67 percent of that. Top Tankers Nasdaq-listed Top Tankers yesterday reported net income of $7.92 million, or $0.28 per share, for the third quarter. Operating income was $13.67 million against $7.88 million for the third quarter of 2004. For the nine months ended September 30, total net income rose to $40.59 million from $13.45 million for the same period of 2004. «Upon delivery of a Suezmax tanker in early December, we will have organically grown the number of vessels under our management by nine tankers in 2005 to a total of 27 vessels,» said CEO Evangelos J. Pistiolis. Freight rates TUI finance chief Edgar Ernst said yesterday he expected container shipping freight rates to rise about 1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005. He added that it was hard to predict freight rates in 2006, but that he expected only a slight dip despite increased capacity due to come on in the industry. (Reuters)