In Brief

Cosmote H1 profits beat forecasts Cosmote, Greece’s largest mobile phone group by number of users, said yesterday first-half net profits grew 12.5 percent, above market expectations, boosted by higher sales from its Germanos retail unit. Cosmote reported net profits of 176.3 million euros versus 157 million in the same period last year. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast net profits of 164.2 million. «Our results this quarter confirm the growth path that Cosmote has established, through the successful acquisitions of the past two years,» Cosmote Chief Executive Evangelos Martigopoulos said in a statement. (Reuters) Serb rates Serbia’s central bank raised its key interest rate yesterday to counter price pressures that may jeopardize the government’s inflation target for the year. The bank raised the two-week repo rate by 25 basis points to 9.75 percent in a preemptive strike against the effect of wage increases and rising food prices due to a drought. When the easing cycle started last November, the repo rate was at 18 percent. (Reuters) Fourlis profits Fourlis, which owns the Greek franchise of Swedish home furnishing giant IKEA, reported a sharp increase in its first-half net profits, boosted by strong furniture sales and one-off capital gains. It made net profits of 21.9 million euros, up from 8.3 million the same period last year. (Reuters)