ECONOMY

Power firm reports first annual loss

Public Power Corporation, Greece’s biggest electricity producer, posted its first annual loss last year as fuel costs rose and the company set aside funds to pay for emissions of carbon dioxide. The net loss was 305.9 million euros versus a profit of 222.3 million euros a year earlier. Analysts were expecting a 315.7-million-euro loss, according to Bloomberg. «PPC’s earnings are heavily exposed to fuel, energy and CO2 price volatility,» said Chief Executive Officer Takis Athanasopoulos. Analysts said the cost base was better than expected but pointed out that a «drop in demand is a negative development.» «The slowdown largely emanates from industrial users and that explains partially the favorable movement on costs amid lower natural gas production and energy purchases as well as a drop in imports,» said Proton Research. Meanwhile, Athanasopoulos said PPC is interested in acquiring a 30 percent stake in state-controlled natural gas firm DEPA, which is in search of a strategic investor.