ECONOMY

In Brief

OPAP H1 profits rise 35 pct to 385 mln euros Greek gaming monopoly OPAP said yesterday first-half net profits rose 35 percent, meeting analysts’ forecasts on robust revenues from the Euro 2008 soccer championships. Europe’s biggest betting firm said net profits grew to 385.8 million euros ($567.6 million), compared with an average forecast of 382 million in a recent Reuters poll of analysts. Increased betting during the June tournament boosted revenues from OPAP’s two flagship games, fixed-odds sports betting format Stoichima and its Kino lottery. «The contribution of the Kino and Stoichima games is still strong, while we are sticking to our efforts of cost containment,» OPAP’s CEO Christos Hadjiemmanuil said in a statement. Stoichima revenues reached 1.166 billion euros, up 16.7 percent year-on-year, thanks to increased betting during the Euro 2008 championship in June. The payout ratio to Stoichima winners was 65.5 percent, down from 71.5 percent in the same period last year. (Reuters) PPC seen reporting loss in second quarter Greek utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) is expected to have swung into a loss in the second quarter of the year on the back of high costs for energy and electricity purchases. PPC is expected to post a loss of 47 million euros after profits of 58 million euros a year earlier, according to an average of seven analysts polled by Reuters. PPC’s sales are seen as being up 13 percent at 1.39 billion euros, boosted by increased tariffs after the government allowed the utility to raise rates for industrial users and other customers to help offset rising oil prices. But the rises were not enough to offset increased energy production costs due to persistently high oil prices in the second quarter. The firm had also imported expensive electricity from abroad after a dry winter led to a drastic drop in hydroelectric reserves at home, analysts said. «Hydro generation remained at very depressed levels and led to higher electricity purchase needs during the quarter at sharply higher year-on-year prices,» said HSBC analyst Paris Mantzavras in an preview note. «(Average Brent) oil prices increased by 53 percent in euros terms during the quarter.» (Reuters) Fuel costs bite Aegean Airlines SA, Greece’s second-biggest airline, said first-half profits declined 13 percent as fuel costs rose. Net income fell to 5.5 million euros ($8.1 million) from 6.4 million euros a year earlier, according to an e-mailed statement received from the Athens-based company yesterday. Sales increased 26 percent to 262.7 million euros. (Bloomberg) Sales advance Teletypos SA, Greece’s biggest free-to-air television broadcaster, said second-quarter profits rose 12 percent as sales advanced. Net income gained to 6.5 million euros ($9.5 million) from 5.8 million euros a year earlier, according to a statement from the company, published yesterday. Sales rose to 51.3 million euros from 50.6 million euros. (Bloomberg) Income soars Michaniki SA, Greece’s fifth-biggest builder, said profits in the first six months of the year grew 90 percent, without giving a reason. Net income increased to 31 million euros ($45 million) from 16.3 million euros a year earlier, according to an Athens bourse statement yesterday. (Bloomberg)