ECONOMY

Healthy profits for Elefsina

The Elefsina Shipyard posted healthy pretax profits of 8.2 billion drachmas (24.6 million euros) in 2001 against revenues of 63 billion drachmas (185 million euros), a feat achieved without state subsidies and, more importantly, an accomplishment which points to the success of its modernization, the head of the company said yesterday. President Nicholas Tavoularis said the shipyard, which employs 750 workers, has invested 24 billion drachmas (70 million euros) in upgrading and modernizing its facilities. «We also have an ongoing program, valued at 8 billion drachmas, to update the shipyard,» he said yesterday at the launch of the oil tanker Prometheus, which was built for the navy. Tavoularis said the quality of Elefsina’s work has been recognized abroad, as demonstrated in the fact that 75 percent of its projects are for overseas clients. The shipyard is currently doing plating work on two vessels, a project worth 13 billion drachmas (38 million euros), and making coaches for Hellenic Railways. Neorion Shipyard, its sister shipyard, also controlled by the Tavoularis group, is presently constructing two cruise ships for the Greek yachting company Liveras Yachts. Taking a dig at Hellenic Shipyards, Tavoularis said Elefsina has gained a reputation for consistency and reliability. «We are punctual [with deadlines] despite the many obstacles and red tape. We proved this with the delivery of three tank-landing vessels for the navy before the deadline,» he said. Tavoularis’s comments come as German shipyard HDW is reportedly dragging its feet on its agreed purchase of Hellenic because of its reluctance to pay for late deliveries of coaches constructed for Hellenic Railways. The Hellenic ShipyardS head said the company has achieved first ranking «despite the unfair competition and, until recently, the paroxysm of illegal subsidies and irregularities at our expense.» The newly launched oil tanker Prometheus, the largest ever vessel constructed for the navy in terms of volume, is one of three crafts contracted by the navy.