ECONOMY

In Brief

Sprider plans to cut 2009 guidance Greek fashion retailer Sprider Stores will cut its 2009 guidance in March but does not expect a fall in profits as its low prices will help it weather a global crisis better than its peers, its head said yesterday. Retailers around the world are taking a hit from a slower economy but Sprider, Greece’s largest low-price fashion retailer by revenues, believes it could benefit from the downturn as cash-strapped consumers seek better value for money. «Our guidance for 2009 will be revised downward… Under no circumstances will we report numbers lower than 2008 results,» Sprider Stores Chief Executive Charalambos Xylouris told Reuters in an interview. The revised 2009 forecasts will be announced along with 2008 profits on March 19, he said, but gave no figures. Sprider has forecast 2009 sales of 195 million euros, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 43.2 million euros, and net profit of 22.5 million. (Reuters) Cyprus consumer price inflation down in January NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s consumer price inflation eased to 1.1 percent year-on-year in January from 2.1 percent in December, the statistics department said yesterday. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index (CPI) decreased by 2.34 percent to 107.76 units. The fall was primarily due to decreases in the prices of clothing and footwear, and a reduction in the cost of fuel and electricity bills. Shipping finance Goldenport Holdings Inc, the commodities shipper, refinanced $38.1 million of debt and is complying with all its loan covenants as the industry grapples with a collapse in freight rates and vessel prices. The loan, scheduled to mature this year and priced at 1 percentage point over the London Interbank Offered Rate, was extended for four-and-a-half years and the cost is not very different, John Dragnis, the firm’s commercial director, said. Commodity shipping rates fell a record 92 percent last year, causing some owners to breach loan covenants and others to file for bankruptcy. (Bloomberg) Spending plans OAO Lukoil, Russia’s largest non-state oil producer, plans to spend $37.5 million in Turkey this year after buying a retail chain in the country in 2008. The Moscow-based company intends to invest $400 million in Turkey within the next decade as it seeks to gain a 10 percent share of the oil products market there, Lukoil said yesterday. (Bloomberg) Renewable energy Alerion Industries SpA, an Italian renewable energy company, expects a profit this year and has 50 million euros ($64 million) to use for acquisitions, Chief Executive Officer Giulio Antonello said. «Today, given the tough financial climate, we are in the lucky position of having resources» to make acquisitions and are looking at opportunities, Antonello said in a telephone interview. Milan-based Alerion raised 36.8 million euros selling new stock to investment fund F2i, its biggest shareholder, and 55.7 million euros from the sale of non-energy assets. The company has already used some of the funds to buy a 50 percent stake in a 72.5-megawatt wind-power plant project in Molise, Italy and a share in biomass-to-energy company, Bonollo Energia SpA, Antonello said. (Bloomberg)