ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE seen posting sharp increase in Q1 profit Greece’s largest telecoms group OTE is seen posting a significant rise in first-quarter profit as a one-off reversal of provisions more than offset shrinking sales. Net profit is seen, on average, at 296.9 million euros ($394.4 million) in the first quarter of 2009, up from 141 million a year earlier, a poll of 11 analysts’ forecasts by Reuters showed. OTE reversed a 200-million-euro provision in the first quarter after the Greek government, which owns a 25 percent stake in the operator, contributed an equivalent amount in shares to help fund a job-cutting scheme. Sales are expected to fall to 1.51 billion euros from 1.54 billion in the same period last year as sharper competition weighed down on revenues from the Greek mobile and fixed-line business. «Greek mobile [operations] should be negatively affected by the launch of aggressively priced products in the prepaid segment,» Piraeus Securities analyst Natasha Roumantzi said in a preview note. OTE counts on rising mobile phone revenues in Greece and Southeast Europe to offset a decline in its fixed-line business, where telephone usage is falling. Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, which generates more than half of its revenue abroad, last year bought a 25 percent stake in OTE to expand its footprint in Southeast Europe. OTE is scheduled to release earnings figures on Thursday. (Reuters) Manufacturing sector rebounds in April Greece’s manufacturing sector rebounded in April, with the purchasing managers index (PMI) rising to 40.9 points from a record low of 38.2 in March, a monthly survey of manufacturers showed on yesterday. Data signaled a slower deterioration of business conditions in Greece’s manufacturing economy for the first time since November. The survey recorded weaker declines in output and new orders and an easing in the pace of job shedding, while input and output prices continued to drop sharply. The 50-point mark separates contraction from growth. Markit data showed that foreign demand for Greek manufactured goods remained weak during April. Although the contraction of incoming new work from abroad slowed, the decline was still fast by historical standards. The index for new orders rose to 39.8 from 34.4 in the previous month. (Reuters) Plaisio Computers Plaisio Computers SA, a Greek retailer of office supplies and personal computers, said first-quarter profit fell 76 percent to 593,000 euros. Sales declined 15 percent to 91.6 million euros, the company said in a press release posted on the Athens stock exchange website. (Bloomberg) Inflation eases Turkish inflation eased in April to the lowest in 39 years, opening the way for more cuts to the benchmark interest rate. The annual consumer inflation rate fell to 6.1 percent, the lowest since July 1970, from 7.9 percent the month before, the statistics office in Ankara said on its website yesterday. Prices were expected to rise 6.9 percent, according to the median estimate of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. In the month, prices rose 0.02 percent. (Bloomberg)