ECONOMY

Mytilineos 07 net soars 83 pct

Metals and engineering group Mytilineos said yesterday 2007 profit surged a forecast-beating 83 percent, boosted by capital gains from energy assets contributed by a joint venture. The group, which includes subsidiaries Metka and Aluminium of Greece, posted net profit of 193.6 million euros ($304.6 million). «Group profit and growth continued despite adverse international conditions,» the company said in a statement. «Prospects for the next three years are positive.» The group had been expected to report average profit of 164 million euros, according to data compiled by Reuters. It will propose a dividend of 51 euro cents per share on 2007 earnings, more than double the -0.22 dividend paid in 2006. Group sales advanced 8.2 percent to 912.6 million euros in 2007, although weighed by a drop in aluminium prices, which reached record highs in 2006, the rising cost of oil and the continued strengthening of the euro versus the dollar. «The euro-dollar exchange rate rose from 1.3 at the start of the year to 1.46 by the end of the period, resulting in a loss of revenues of 55 million euros,» the company said. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 18 percent to 153.7 million euros. Mytilineos booked capital gains of 110 million euros from the contribution of energy assets to Endesa Europe, a joint venture with Spanish power company Endesa. Mytilineos last year teamed up with Endesa as part of plans to boost its energy business in the region. Earlier this month Endesa said it will invest 1.4 billion euros, with Mytilineos investing another -1.4 billion, to build power plants in Greece. (Reuters)