ECONOMY

In Brief

Louis predicts higher revenues from hotels Louis Plc, the largest tourism company in Cyprus and Greece, expects higher revenue from cruises to cushion a drop in revenue from hotels this year. The bulk of Louis’s first-half cruise revenue of 69.5 million euros ($99.8 million) was booked in the second quarter, according to information provided by the company, helping boost profit for the quarter by 80 percent to 9 million euros. «While Louis expects a full-year loss in 2009, cruise ship operations should help narrow the loss compared to the 2008 full-year loss,» Louis said in a statement yesterday. Cruises have risen in popularity as the global crisis prompts western Europeans and Americans to seek value-for-money with all-inclusive transport, accommodation and services. Carnival Corp., the world’s biggest cruise-line operator, reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates. (Bloomberg) Fish-farming sector conditions improve Nireus Aquaculture, Greece’s largest fish-farming company, reported a 58 percent year-on-year drop yesterday in first-half net profit to 1.64 million euros but said that conditions in the sector are improving. The rise in the price of sea bream boosted sales in the second quarter, helping lift six-month revenues to 84.5 million euros, off 3.4 percent from last year. «The worst for the Mediterranean fish-farming sector looks set to be overcome by the end of the year. The rebound in the price of sea bream from May had a positive impact on the group’s financial performance in the second quarter,» said Aristides Belles, chairman of Nireus, in a statement. Cost control Thessaloniki water (EYATH), Greece’s second-largest water utility, said yesterday its first-half net profit rose 34 percent due to higher turnover and cost controls. Net earnings came in at 11 million euros ($15.79 million) in the first six months of the year, while turnover was up 5.4 percent at 40 million euros. «We have contained costs, while expanding our client base for the sixth consecutive quarter,» EYATH said in a bourse filing. The northern Greek company also raised its profit targets for the next three years, saying it saw pre-tax earnings at 25.5 million euros in 2009, 29.9 million in 2010 and 34.3 million in 2011. (Reuters) Wind Hellas The cost of protecting Wind Hellas Telecommunications SA’s borrowings from default soared to a six-month high on speculation the company will be forced to restructure debt, which may trigger payouts on credit insurance. Credit-default swaps on the subordinated debt of Greece’s third-largest wireless operator rose 13.1 percentage points this week to 75.9 percent upfront and five percent a year, according to CMA DataVision prices at around midday in London yesterday. That means it costs 7.59 million euros in advance and 500,000 euros a year to protect 10 million euros ($14 million) of the company’s junior securities from default for five years. «A debt restructuring appears very likely,» said Stephan Haber, a credit analyst at UniCredit SpA in Munich. «I can’t think about many scenarios where the company would restructure its debt in a way that wouldn’t fulfill the conditions for a restructuring credit event.» (Bloomberg)