ECONOMY

In Brief

PPC earnings up 25 percent due to restructuring Public Power Corporation (PPC) reported a sharp rise in core 2001 profits yesterday, as a restructuring program sparked by its semi-privatization began to pay off. PPC said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 25 percent to 864 million euros ($747 million). Net income soared 947 percent year-on-year to 260 million euros with earnings per share rising 944 percent from 0.11 euros in 2000 to 1.18 euros in 2001, due to operating improvements, falling expenses and foreign currency gains. Revenues rose 7.8 percent last year to 3.091 billion euros, from 2.868 billion euros in 2000, as consumption grew 2.8 percent. (Reuters) A good year for Intracom Telecom equipment maker Intracom announced yesterday that 2001 group pretax profit rose 7.8 percent year-on-year to 158.5 million euros ($137.1 million). Consolidated sales were 962.1 million euros, up 16 percent year-on-year, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew 25 percent to 229.5 million euros. The company said that its order book stood at around 1.41 billion euros. Its shares fell 4.38 percent to 8.74 euros yesterday.(Reuters) Profits up Commercial Bank announced yesterday its 2001 pretax profit rose 10.2 percent year-on-year to 373.9 million euros ($323.4 million). The bank, Greece’s third largest in assets, also said in a statement that, after tax, profit increased 32 percent to 282.9 million euros. Net interest income grew 23 percent to 554.1 million euros, while net commission income reached 125.3 million euros, down 14.1 percent year-on-year. The reasons for the decrease, the bank said, included weak stock market conditions which resulted in lower revenues from custodian services, initial public offerings (IPOs) and brokerage fees. Total assets at the end of 2001 were 17.7 billion euros, an increase of 13.2 percent year-on-year while loans grew 26 percent to 8.4 billion euros. (Reuters) Low margins hurt Oil refiner Petrola said yesterday its 2001 pretax profit fell 88 percent year-on-year to 6.0 million euros from 52.8 million euros, due to «historical» low international refining margins. The company said total revenues were down to 1.19 billion euros from 1.46 billion euros last year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were down 77 percent to 15.3 million euros from 66.9 million euros last year. (Reuters) Strong results Cement producer Heracles, 53.1-percent owned by France’s Lafarge, announced yesterday group pretax profit rose 94.3 percent year-on-year to 61.4 million euros. Sales in the same period grew 4.0 percent year-on-year to 554 million euros. Domestic sales volume rose 3.5 percent to 5 million tons, while export volumes came to 4.2 million tons. (Reuters) Clause on shipping passes Parliament yesterday passed an amendment permitting listed companies to own ocean-going vessels if they are essential to their core activity. Left-wing opposition MPs assailed the measure as a special favor to Kathimerini SA, the only listed firm the measure affects at present.