ECONOMY

In Brief

Sonae says its Q4 profit fell 76 pct year-on-year Sonae SGPS SA, parent company of Portugal’s biggest retailer and the country’s largest shopping center developer, said fourth-quarter profit fell 76 percent, reflecting the reduced value of its malls. Net income declined to 27 million euros ($35 million) from 113 million euros a year earlier, the Maia, Portugal-based company said yesterday in a regulatory filing. Sales gained 18 percent to 1.52 billion euros. So-called direct net income, which excludes changes in the value of investment properties, rose 8.5 percent to 92 million euros. The value of Sonae’s shopping centers fell 77 million euros, compared with a 38-million-euro increase a year earlier. The Sonae Sierra unit has shopping centers in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany and Brazil. Sonae, controlled by Chairman Belmiro de Azevedo, also owns telecommunications company Sonaecom SGPS SA. (Bloomberg) Serb budget deficit will reach 3 percent of GDP Serbia’s 2009 budget deficit will reach 3 percent of gross domestic product, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic told a conference in Belgrade yesterday. Serbian officials are currently meeting with the International Monetary Fund in Belgrade to discuss extending a $516 million loan taken in November. The Balkan nation has yet to draw funds from the original credit and the Finance Ministry said yesterday the government wants to increase the loan to about $4 billion to cover the budget deficit. (Bloomberg) Montenegro road A consortium of three Croatian construction firms won a tender worth 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion) to build a stretch of highway in neighboring Montenegro, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said yesterday. The consortium, which will build a 170-kilometer stretch of highway from Montenegro’s main port, Bar, to the Serbian border in the north, is led by Konstruktor from the southern Adriatic city of Split, state television said. Montenegro’s tender commission confirmed the Croatian consortium had won the deal, which it said was worth 2.7 billion euros. Montenegro’s government will provide 1.7 billion of the sum, it said in a statement. Other bidders for the tender included Alpine, Strabag AG – both Austrian – and Israeli Shikun & Binui Aktor. (Reuters) Foreign partner Turkey’s Yasar Holding will resume the search for a foreign partner for its paints company DYO Boya in June, the holding company’s Chairwoman Feyhan Yasar Kalpaklioglu told Reuters yesterday. Kalpaklioglu also said in an interview the company’s Yasar food group division, whose activities range from dairy to meat products and water, targeted growth of 5 to 6 percent in 2009. Shares in DYO rose as much as 10 percent in the wake of her comments. DYO achieved sales of between 210 million lira and 220 million in 2008, the company says, exceeding a target of around 200 million lira ($120 million). (Reuters) Sarantis Sarantis SA, a Greek maker and distributor of household goods, posted a profit of 25.4 million euros, according to a bourse filing. That compared with profit a year earlier of 31.9 million euros, which included one-off gains. Sales rose 7.4 percent to 259.4 million euros. (Bloomberg)