ECONOMY

In Brief

Alpha Bank 2007 net up 54 percent Alpha Bank, Greece’s third-largest lender by market value, said yesterday 2007 group net profit rose 54 percent to 850 million euros ($1.3 billion). Alpha is also present in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and Cyprus. It had tried to venture into Turkey but a deal to acquire 50 percent of Alternatifbank fell through. «We demonstrated our ability to expand our successful business model into Southeast Europe, where our market share in loans at above 7 percent confirms we are reaching critical mass,» Alpha’s Chairman Yiannis Costopoulos said in a statement. The group is targeting annual earnings per share growth of at least 23 percent, eyeing net profit of 1.4 billion euros by 2010. Alpha Bank’s board will propose a dividend per share of 0.90 euros for 2007. (Reuters) Cyprus Airways edged into profit last year NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus Airways said yesterday it expected 2008 to be a profitable year, following a return to profit for the Cyprus flag carrier last year as passenger numbers and returns on fares rose. After several years of losses, the government-controlled airline made a 2007 pretax profit of 1.5 million Cyprus pounds ($3.69 million), or 2.55 million euros in the currency Cyprus joined in January. It had lost 15.6 million pounds before tax in 2006. «Despite fierce competition, we achieved a profit in 2007 and we have an indication also for 2008,» Executive Chairman Kikis Lazarides told reporters. Net profit in 2007 was 686,000 Cyprus pounds against 2006’s 14.02 million pound net loss, it said. Cyprus Airways made a fifth of its work force redundant in 2006, costing it some 17.9 million euros in staff payoffs. Fourlis Fourlis SA, the holder of the Ikea franchise in Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria, said profit advanced 68 percent last year as Greeks bought more home furnishings and electronic goods. Net income climbed to 46.2 million euros ($68.8 million) from 27.4 million euros a year earlier. Sales rose 39 percent to 670 million euros, while revenues at Ikea stores gained 26 percent last year. (Bloomberg) Jumbo Toy retailer Jumbo said profit gained in the six months ended December 31 as sales increased. Net income rose 21 percent to 48.2 million ($71.4 million) as sales gained 17 percent to 238.5 million euros, according to an e-mailed statement from the company yesterday. Jumbo stuck to its forecast for annual gains of 15 percent in profit and sales for the next three years, according to the statement. (Bloomberg) Titan Cement producer Titan said yesterday 2007 net profit dropped 8 percent, meeting analysts estimates, due to weaker demand in its markets in the USA and Greece. Net profit fell to 240 million euros ($355.7 million). (Reuters) Goldenport Goldenport Holdings Inc, a Greek shipowner whose shares trade on the London Stock Exchange, said profit climbed 29 percent last year as demand for commodity carriers strengthened. Net income advanced to $58.3 million, or 83 cents a share, from $45.2 million, or 72 cents, a year earlier. (Bloomberg)