In Brief

Athens airport 2006 profit rose 67 pct, traffic up Athens International Airport (AIA) said yesterday 2006 pretax profit rose 67 percent to 96.3 million euros on record passenger traffic last year. AIA, owned by the government and German contractor Hochtief, said it reported financial results under international financial reporting standards (IFRS) for the first time. Passenger traffic last year grew 5.6 percent to a new record of 15.1 million as the six-year-old airport handled more flights. The government has said it wants to reduce its 55 percent stake and take the company public on the Athens Stock Exchange, but the plan is not likely to take place this year. AIA saw a 5.5 percent increase in the number of flights last year, with its cargo business up 3.6 percent to 120,000 tons. The average load factor – a measure of how successfully planes were filled – was 70 percent last year. (Reuters) Cyprus regulator clears Vivartia’s Christis buy NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s competition regulator said yesterday it had conditionally approved Vivartia SA’s acquisition of the island’s Christis Dairies. Vivartia, Greece’s largest dairy group, agreed to buy 46 percent of Christis last December in a deal valued at 7.3 million Cyprus pounds (12.35 million euros). It is acquiring the stake from the Cyprus Trading Corporation and other shareholders, and will seek to acquire the remaining shares at the same price after the transaction. The competition watchdog, which vets all mergers and acquisitions, said the takeover complied with legal provisions on the basis of commitments undertaken by Vivartia. The regulator said Vivartia had promised to keep the wholesale price of fresh milk steady for three years, with any price increases restricted to a maximum of 1 cent per year. Bulgarian sowings Timely showers have salvaged wheat and barley sowings in Bulgaria, providing much-needed moisture for the plants and ensuring an abundant harvest, an Agriculture Ministry official said yesterday. Bulgarian farmers planted 10 percent more wheat last autumn – some 1.04 million hectares – but were worried that the unusually warm, dry and snowless winter that had allowed fungal diseases and pests to survive might hurt the crop. (Reuters) Winning olive oil The Development Ministry announced yesterday the winners of the 2nd Panhellenic Competition of standardized extra virgin olive oil 2006-2007. The winners, all from the island of Crete, were the following brands: Kritsa 03, Gaea from Sitia, Terra Creta Kolymvari Hania, and Peza Irakliou. PublicWorld in Athens «PublicWorld,» the local chain of entertainment multistores, is entering the Athens market with its new salespoint at Syntagma Square, due to open during the summer. It will cover 5,000 square meters, making it the biggest of the chain’s three outlets owned by Panos Germanos. The next step in the company’s five-year 35-million-euro investment plan will be a store in Nicosia. PublicWorld imports and sells computers, music, books, movies and Internet products.

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