ECONOMY

In Brief

Intralot profit up on international operations Intralot SA, the world’s second- largest gambling-services company, posted a 4.6-percent increase in first-half profit, spurred by the Euro 2008 soccer tournament and international operations. Net income at the Athens-based company rose to 60.3 million euros ($88.5 million) from 57.6 million euros a year earlier, according to an e-mailed statement. That missed the 61.7 million- euro median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of nine analysts. Sales increased 45 percent to 547.5 million euros, topping the 540 million-euro estimate in the survey. Intralot has won contracts in countries from South Korea to South Africa over the past year, helping it offset a decline in revenue from Greece. (Bloomberg) Debt target overshoot due to weak revenues Greece expects to overshoot its initial borrowing target this year due to weak government revenues and may tap the capital market via a dollar bond issue, the head of the Public Debt Agency (PDMA) said yesterday. «Our total borrowing this year will go up, it will top our initial target,» PDMA Chief Spyros Papanicolaou told Reuters. «Total borrowing could reach 41 to 43 billion euros, depending on how government revenues play out in the rest of the year.» Greece had initially planned to borrow about 40 billion euros, including military-related loans. Greece borrows under the name Hellenic Republic and is rated A1 by Moody’s and A by both Fitch and Standard & Poor’s. Papanicolaou said Greece may go ahead with a global dollar bond issue later this year, its first since 1998, but this will depend on market conditions. (Reuters) Producer price jump Greek producer price inflation accelerated to 12.7 percent year-on-year in July from 11.9 percent in June, mainly due to high energy prices, data from the country’s statistics service (NSS) showed yesterday. The increase brought the 12-month average annual PPI rise to end-July to 8.4 percent. In the same month, consumer inflation remained steady at a 10-year high of 4.9 percent year-on-year. (Reuters) Strikes hurt Piraeus Port (OLP), Greece’s largest, posted a first-half loss of 4.3 million euros ($6.36 million) yesterday and said it feared a full-year loss if strikes over the privatization of its container business continued. OLP, which made a net profit of 12.3 million euros in the same period last year, said sales fell 43.2 percent year-on-year, with business at the port’s container terminal seeing the sharpest decline. «Due to the dockers’ refusal to work overtime and weekends for the second consecutive quarter, cargo business has been reduced with income at significantly low levels,» the company said. OLP has seen containers pile up as dockers have refused to work overtime since January in protest at the government’s planned privatization of the port’s container business. (Reuters) Loss widens Forthnet SA, Greece’s second-biggest provider of Web services, said its first-half loss widened on higher depreciation costs and spending to gain clients for high-speed Internet and phone services. The net loss swelled to 22.2 million euros ($32.7 million) from 17 million euros in the same period a year earlier, the Iraklion, Crete-based company said in an e-mailed statement. (Bloomberg)