In Brief

Mytilineos’s first-half profit falls 59 percent Listed metals and engineering group Mytilineos said yesterday its first-half profit dropped 59 percent, hit by the rising cost of oil and a strong euro. The group, which includes construction affiliate Metka, posted net profit of 24.1 million euros from 59.1 million euros in the same period a year earlier. Group sales advanced 6 percent to 490 million euros. The company estimated the euro’s strength had a 50-million-euro negative impact on turnover. «High oil prices… above $125 a barrel drove prices of primary inputs used in production higher and also affected transport costs,» Mytilineos said. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortizaton (EBITDA) fell 43 percent to 56 million euros. Metka, Greece’s biggest builder of power plants, said its net profit was little changed at 23 million euros. (Reuters) Turk inflation comes in above forecasts ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s consumer prices rose 0.58 percent month-on-month in July, compared with a forecast rise of 0.32 percent, for a year-on-year rise of 12.06 percent, the Turkish Statistics Institute said yesterday. The producer price index rose 1.25 percent in the month, above a forecast rise of 0.40 percent, for an annual rise of 18.41 percent. A hike in electricity prices had been expected to bump up inflation in July, but some analysts lowered their forecasts after data on Friday showed retail prices had fallen sharply in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul in July. Late last month Turkey’s central bank July revised up its expectation for 2008 inflation further above the official 4 percent target to 10.6 percent from a previous 9.3 percent. Bulgaria surplus Bulgaria’s budget surplus rose to 5.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of June, almost double its annual fiscal surplus target of 3.0 percent, mainly due to delayed spending, data showed yesterday. The Balkan country’s consolidated budget surplus stood at 3.78 billion levs ($3.01 billion) in the first half of the year, Finance Ministry data showed. Total fiscal revenue in the first six months of 2008 stood at 14 billion levs, 51.6 percent of the annual budget plan, while spending was 10.2 billion levs, or 40.4 percent of the plan, the data showed. Strong imports and increasing domestic demand have sharply boosted Bulgaria’s current account deficit to over 20 percent of GDP. (Reuters) Romania CPI Romania’s central bank raised its inflation forecasts for this year and next yesterday because of concerns that higher labor costs will speed up consumption, boosting the leu to a 2008 record versus the euro. In its quarterly inflation report, the bank said it expected annual price growth to hit 6.6 percent in December this year, compared to its earlier forecast of 6 percent. It also put 2009 inflation at 4.2 percent, compared with 3.5 percent earlier. But the bank also said it will keep its 2.8-4.8 and 2.5-4.5 percent target ranges for 2008 and 2009 respectively. Wage pressures strengthened in recent months as Bucharest’s centrist government cleared a series of increases in state spending on pensions and minimum wages. (Reuters)