Michaniki upbeat despite global crisis

Construction company Michaniki remains on a growth trajectory, despite the global crisis, after cutting costs by about a third on foreign projects and keeping debt low, the company said yesterday. Melina Emfietzoglou, CEO at Michaniki, which is also active in real estate development and energy, said its investments in property, particularly in Russia, are a «gold mine.» «The unforeseen global crisis will result in a temporary delay in the appearance of high returns the group expected just a few months ago,» Emfietzoglou said in a bourse filing. Michaniki, present in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Egypt and Belarus, is involved in the construction of a 1.5-million-square meter complex in Moscow expected to earn 2.8 billion euros. The company is pushing ahead with three projects in Moscow and Kiev, «waiting for an improvement in sentiment to boost sales,» it added. At the end of last year, Michaniki reduced project costs abroad, with an emphasis on Russia, by an average of 30 percent after renegotiating terms with contractors and suppliers. Bank debt is also lower than levels seen in competitors, it added. Shares in Michaniki, which has a market value of 109.7 million euros, have risen 7.19 percent in the last three months, versus a 12 percent increase on the broader Athens market.