ECONOMY

Despite profit, PPC shares fall

State-controlled power company Public Power Corporation (PPC) showed lower-than-expected profits for 2009 after it took a write-down on its property and recession hurt its clients. The news sent PPC shares 4.27 percent lower on the Athens bourse to 13.69 euros versus a retreat of almost 2 percent on the broader market. PPC swung to a record net profit of 693.3 million euros from losses of 305.9 million last year on lower power generation costs after oil and natural gas prices, two of its main sources of fuel, fell sharply. But the results were well below analysts’ average forecast of 764.7 million euros in net profits in a Reuters poll, hurt by a write-down of 138.7 million euros after the revaluation of its real estate. PPC also more than doubled provisions for doubtful receivables to 125.5 million euros, after Greece’s first recession in 16 years threw industrial energy users into disarray. Greece’s 6-billion-euro electricity market is shrinking for the first time since the early 1990s as industrial firms cut production to cope with falling orders.