Drug firms among the 07 winners

Greek businesses reported a 15 percent increase in profit last year with pharmaceutical companies leading the way, according to survey results made public yesterday. Research group Stat Bank said in a study of 1,700 businesses across Greece that reported earnings rose 15 percent on an annual basis to 3.26 billion euros on total sales of 58.5 billion euros, up 8.8 percent. A breakdown of the figures shows that oil and drug companies along with food and drink firms were among those that recorded the strongest earnings growth. «One sector that is showing particular resilience and is on a continuously upward course is that of pharmaceutical companies,» said Stat Bank in a statement. Net profit in pharmaceuticals jumped 45.4 percent to 5.3 billion euros. The survey assessed published earnings figures for 2007 of businesses that report annual sales of more than 5 million euros. On the downside, metals companies saw earnings slump, while the textile and newspaper sectors did not manage to report profits for the same period of time.