ECONOMY

In Brief

Cyprus tourism revenues take 15 percent dive NICOSIA (AFP) – Revenues in Cyprus’s vital tourism sector sank 15.5 percent in the first seven months of 2009, official figures showed yesterday, providing more evidence of a difficult year for the island’s economy. Income from tourism, which forms around 12 percent of gross domestic product, plunged to an estimated 798.3 million euros (1.142 billion dollars) in the seven months to July from 944.8 million euros a year earlier. In July alone the drop was a slightly smaller 14.8 percent, as revenue from holidaymakers reached 232.5 million euros versus 272.9 million in the same month of 2008. Tourism receipts for 2008 as a whole fell 3.5 percent to 1.79 billion euros from 1.85 billion in 2007. Average daily spending by tourists in July was 75.60 euros and the average stay was 10.1 days. The biggest spenders were Israeli visitors, splashing out 123 euros a day while Greeks were the most frugal, spending only 66.90 euros a day on average. The disappointing revenue figures are coupled with a 10.9 percent decrease in tourist arrivals for the first seven months. Motor Oil Q2 profit seen sharply lower Motor Oil, Greece’s second-biggest refiner, is expected to post a 45 percent year-on-year decline in second-quarter net profit, hurt by narrower refining margins and smaller oil valuation gains.The average forecast for net profit from eight analysts polled by Reuters was 39.2 million euros ($56.1 million), down from 70.9 million in the same period a year earlier. «Being a complex refinery [company], Motor Oil will be surely affected by the… weakness in light/heavy spreads and middle distillates,» said Deutsche Bank analyst Dimitris Giannoulis in a note to investors. Earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) are seen declining to 68.5 million euros from 115.3 million in the same period last year. Stripping out the effect of changing oil prices on the value of the company’s oil inventories, core profit or adjusted «clean» net profit is seen down 26 percent at 24.8 million euros. Motor Oil’s shares have gained 8.4 percent since the start of the year, underperforming a 39 percent advance in the Athens benchmark index. Motor Oil is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings tomorrow. (Reuters) Cinema expansion Cinema City International NV, Central Europe’s largest movie theater operator, «hopes» to increase 2009 profit over last year’s record as it plans further expansion in the region and the United Kingdom. «We are considering expansion possibilities in all Central European countries and also in Western Europe,» Nisan Cohen, the firm’s deputy chief financial officer, said in a phone interview yesterday. «We hope to improve our results this year.» First-half net income jumped 30 percent to 13.8 million euros ($19.8 million) as revenue rose to 105.3 million euros from 90.3 million euros, the company said in a statement earlier. Profit in the second quarter slumped 37 percent to 4.1 million euros after one-off gains from asset sales weren’t repeated and currencies in the region weakened against the euro. Last year the company posted a record 17.7 million euros of net income as sales increased 20 percent to 189.1 million euros. (Bloomberg)