ECONOMY

In Brief

Marfin Popular Bank’s 9-month profits up 141 pct Marfin Popular Bank (MPB) said yesterday nine-month profits rose 141 percent to 483.2 million euros, thanks mainly to strong loan growth. MPB reported improved net interest income of 495.4 million euros, up 39.6 percent, the company said in a statement. Total group loans grew 44 percent year-on-year to 16.5 billion euros, while deposits rose 39 percent to 21.1 billion euros, the company said. Group operating income rose 55 percent to 920.8 million euros. The group’s profitability resulted in a strengthening of return on average assets to 2.64 percent from 1.43 percent a year ago, the company said. «This success obliges us to again revise the three-year business plan (2008-2010) because our results up to now have exceeded the initial ambitious goals already set,» CEO Andreas Vgenopoulos said in a statement. (Reuters) Intracom backs out of full acquisition of Teledome Intracom Holdings, which provides high-speed Internet and fixed-line phone services in cooperation with Vodafone Group Plc’s Greek unit, has backtracked on a plan to take over rival phone company Teledome. Intracom will maintain its 39 percent stake in Teledome and won’t proceed with a plan to buy the rest, the Athens-based company said in a statement late yesterday. The decision follows the completion of financial and legal checks of Teledome, according to the statement. Intracom said in August it would acquire all of Teledome, the country’s fourth-biggest phone services provider, in a deal valued at about 24 million euros. (Bloomberg) Austrian Post eyes Balkans Austrian postal operator Oesterreichische Post wants to buy into Romania, Bulgaria and Bosnia in the coming 15 months, said Chief Financial Officer Rudolf Jettmar yesterday. «We want to set up a network in the fragmented Southeastern European market,» Jettmar told journalists late on Tuesday on the margins of an investment conference in New York. «We want to fill in our blank spots in Bosnia, Bulgaria and Romania.» Jettmar said the postal operator was aiming to take over private operators working in parcel delivery or distribution of advertising. Oesterreichische Post is already present in Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia. (Reuters) Kathimerini The Kathimerini publishing group yesterday reported a 124.16 percent rise in net nine-month (January-September) income to 6.98 million euros. Turnover was up 31.62 percent to 96.98 million. The parent company itself posted a 33.65 percent rise in nine-month turnover to 85.20 million, mainly on hefty rises in advertising revenue and publishing sales, with net profit up 61.75 percent to 5.75 million. Folli-Follie Jewelry retailer Folli-Follie said yesterday nine-month net profits rose 16.7 percent, meeting market estimates, as strong growth in Asian markets more than offset foreign exchange losses. Folli, which sells jewelry, watches and accessories said net profits rose to 60.7 million euros ($89.42 million) versus an average forecast of 60.9 million euros in a recent Reuters poll of analysts. (Reuters)