ECONOMY

In Brief

OPAP looking into opportunities Europe’s biggest betting firm, OPAP, is exploring several opportunities in the gaming sector around the world after the cancellation of a Turkish tender, its CEO said yesterday. Earlier this month, Turkey scrapped the sell-off of its national Milli Piyango lottery after it set a minimum price sharply higher than bidders were prepared to offer. OPAP had bid for the lottery as part of a consortium. «We are currently examining a set of other possibilities,» OPAP CEO Christos Hadjiemmanuil told an analyst conference. «We are carefully considering both expansion of our games in Greece and international expansion.» Hadjiemmanuil said the firm was seeking a new look for current games and was preparing for the possible relaunch of scratch cards in Greece. Greek media reported last week Greece was mulling relaunching scratch ticket Xysto in a bid to raise revenues of about 200-300 million euros. (Reuters) Titan, hit by crisis, may report profit drop Titan Cement Company, Greece’s biggest producer of the building material, may say first-quarter profit fell 46 percent as the construction industry was hit by the global financial crisis and expenses jumped. Net income probably dropped to 23.1 million euros ($32.1 million) from 42.7 million euros a year earlier, according to the median estimate of six analysts, said Bloomberg News. Titan is scheduled to announce earnings after the close of trading today. (Bloomberg) Autohellas earnings Autohellas SA, a Greek car-rental company, posted first-quarter profits of 1.4 million euros, compared with a loss of 349,000 euros a year earlier, according to an Athens bourse filing yesterday. Sales rose 7.8 percent to 37.1 million euros, the company said. (Bloomberg) Mytilineos slide Greek metals and energy group Mytilineos said first-quarter profits dropped about 76 percent year-on-year, hurt by weaker revenues from its power plant building unit Metka. Mytilineos said yesterday net income came to 1 million euros ($1.39 million), below the average 1.8-million-euro forecast of analysts in a recent Reuters poll. Revenues dropped 32 percent to 154 million euros from 227 million last year, the company said, slightly below analysts’ 155.6-million-euro average estimate. Metka sales dropped to 50.1 million euros from 87.9 million euros due to project delays. But Mytilineos said it expects Metka to win new orders soon. (Reuters) Energy deal A consortium of Austria’s energy utility EVN and Alpine Bau has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bulgaria’s state power utility NEK to build a long-delayed hydropower project, NEK said yesterday. Under the agreement, the EVN-led group will take part in a project that includes the building of hydropower stations and renovating existing dams at Bulgaria’s Gorna Arda River near the border with Turkey. «The memorandum confirms their interest. It also gives four months to Bulgaria to decide how to restructure the project,» a NEK spokeswoman said. A senior government official told Bulgarian daily Klasa that the consortium was ready to invest 600 million euros ($836.6 million) in the Gorna Arda project, part of an energy deal between Bulgaria and Turkey, signed in 1998. (Reuters)