ECONOMY

In Brief

Hellenic Petroleum reports 3Q loss Hellenic Petroleum SA, Greece’s largest refiner, reported a third-quarter loss, as declining oil prices pushed down the value of its crude inventories. The net loss was 74 million euros ($92.5 million), compared with a profit of 84 million euros a year earlier, the Athens-based company said yesterday in a statement distributed by the Regulatory News Service. That missed the 22.4-million-euro median profit estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)was 18 million euros, Hellenic Petroleum said. Profit by that measure was 135 million euros in the third quarter of last year. (Bloomberg) Minoan Lines cuts fares on lower fuel costs Minoan Lines SA, Greece’s second-biggest ferry operator, lowered its fares from Piraeus, the country’s biggest port, to Iraklion, on the island of Crete, after the cost of fuel fell. The company cut the price of economy tickets by 7.5 percent and in all other classes, except first class, by 4 percent, Minoan said. (Bloomberg) Euromedica forecast. Greek medical group Euromedica expects flat EBITDA of 38-40 million euros ($50 million) this year and plans further expansion into the Balkans despite the economic downturn, an executive said yesterday. Greece’s third-largest medical group by market value will stick to its expansion strategy, as it sees the sector less affected by the global economic crisis than other services and expects new units to boost sales by 20 percent annually in 2008-2009. «We forecast a 20 percent rise in group sales for 2008. We expect the same momentum for 2009 and hopefully for 2010,» Thomas Liakounakos, head of strategic planning, told Reuters in an interview. «EBITDA profit will be in the area of 38-40 million euros in 2008.» (Reuters) Dividends suspended Greek dry-bulker Diana Shipping Inc said it will suspend future dividend payments to preserve cash, even as it posted better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by higher charter rates and a bigger fleet. The company declared a third-quarter cash dividend of 95 cents a share and said suspension of future dividend payments would help it to explore opportunities in a period of low charter rates and vessel prices. For the latest third quarter, the company earned $57.6 million, or 77 cents a share, compared with $50.4 million, or 78 cents a share, a year ago. Quarterly average time charter equivalent rates, a measure of hire rates, rose 52 percent to $48,207. The company’s shares were trading up 2 percent at $14.21 before the bell yesterday. They closed at $13.93 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reuters) Naspers earnings Naspers Ltd, Africa’s largest media company, said earnings per share will be as much as 130 percent higher in the six months through September than in the previous period after selling its pay-television unit in Greece. So-called headline earnings per share will be 20 to 30 percent lower than the 4.61 rand a share the company reported in the previous half, Cape Town-based Naspers said. (Bloomberg)