ECONOMY

Listed companies show mixed picture

The total combined profitability of listed companies grew by 60 percent in the first quarter of 2006, year-on-year, but a significant number of them are burdened with high liabilities, according to data collected by the Pegasus Investment Company. The ratio of the net worth to liabilities of listed companies came to 0:88, from 0:87 in 2005, due to the improvement in their overall net worth by 5.7 percent (53.7 billion euros) against the liabilities’ 5 percent (61.3 billion euros). While there are companies and whole sectors that do not owe a single cent, there are also many listed firms which would not be able to pay off all their debts even if they sold all their assets. Certain companies with limited turnover have shown an increase in profits, as various extraordinary revenues have reversed their situation. A careful analysis of financial reports and a comparison of group results with those of the parent companies provide the answer to that. Among companies with capital gains and significant results were the Lavrentiadis Group firms, Germanos, Delta Holdings, Lambrakis Press, Marfin, Domiki Kritis, Informer, Quest, Intracom and Proton Bank. Last year’s extraordinary results affected Kathimerini, Coca-Cola HBC, Hyatt Regency and Mytilineos. The retail sector has improved after the departure of many small and medium-sized players. The shrinking of advertising expenditure is apparently putting pressure on the total revenues of listed companies that are active in the mass media sector; these firms are showing an improved picture on the parent company level, but not on group level. The parent companies’ turnover grew by 1.1 percent but their profits shrank by 9.9 percent. This is attributed to the disproportionate costs of the sector’s promotional activity in order to boost sales. Large differences are noted among the sector’s companies in terms of their loan liabilities, even among firms of a similar size. For instance, Lambrakis Press has a net worth of 119.7 million euros at the group level and shows borrowing of 102.5 million euros, while Kathimerini has a net worth of 149.6 million euros and its banking liabilities are just 5.8 million euros.