ECONOMY

In Brief

CCH Q2 misses forecast mark due to recession, one-off tax Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter profits, as recession at home and fiscal tightening in Europe continued to hurt demand for its products. The economic downturn in Greece and Italy is hitting the bottler’s single-serve package sales, more than offsetting cost savings and a turnaround in Russia after many quarters of decline. On top of that, a windfall tax which debt-laden Greece imposed on large firms’ profits for 2009 in a bid to shore up revenues weighed on the bottler’s bottom line. CCH, the world’s second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola, reported comparable net profit of 172 million euros versus an average forecast of 177.9 million in a Reuters poll. A «debt crisis levy,» which the Greek government imposed after it signed a 110-billion-euro bailout with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, shaved 21 million euros off CCH’s second-quarter profit. The bottler did not give any guidance on full-year profit but kept its target for a free cash flow of about 1.5 billion euros until 2012. (Reuters) Turk income from tourism rises 7.4 pct y-o-y in second quarter ISTANBUL (Reuters) -Turkey’s tourism revenues rose 7.4 percent year-on-year in the second quarter to $4.56 billion, the Turkish Statistics Institute said yesterday, pointing to a solid recovery in the sector. Revenues, which are an important source of foreign currency for Turkey, had dipped 2.2 percent in the first quarter to $2.41 billion, according to previously released data. Turkey has enjoyed a strong rise in visitor numbers this year, after arrivals grew only slightly during 2009. In the first five months of 2010, foreign visitor numbers jumped 10.14 percent from a year earlier to 8.07 million. June foreign arrivals data is due on August 5. Last year, tourism revenues dipped 3.2 percent to $21.25 billion while the number of visitors rose 2.8 percent to 27.1 million, showing that higher tourist arrivals do not necessarily bring in more revenues. Turkish hoteliers and tour operators have been forced to offer ever cheaper all-inclusive packages to remain competitive and attract new visitors. Bulgaria graft Bulgaria plans to set up two agencies to fight graft and organized crime in an effort to improve its tarnished image as one of the European Union’s most corrupt countries, the justice minister said. Bulgaria, along with neighbors Romania and Greece, is under pressure from Brussels to push through reforms to quell mafia-style crime and corruption. The European Commission this month praised Sofia for pushing ahead with reforms of the judiciary but said it still needed to improve police and courts and better protect public funds against fraud and conflicts of interest. In an interview, Justice Minister Margarita Popova said two new agencies to crack down on conflicts of interest and corruption should become operational from the start of next year. (Reuters) Romania debt Romania plans to sell 4.6 billion lei ($1.41 billion) of leu-denominated domestic debt in August but it will struggle to meet that target if it does not scrap a self-imposed yield ceiling, analysts say. The ministry sold less than a third of the 4.65 billion lei of domestic debt planned for July, mainly because it has rejected yields above 7 percent while investors demanded a higher premium to compensate for worries about the success of Romania’s austerity drive. (Reuters) Montenegrin GDP Montenegro’s economy stagnated in the first quarter of 2010 but it is expected to grow 0.5 percent in 2010 as a whole, a deputy prime minister said yesterday. «Montenegro’s GDP grew zero percent in the first quarter of 2010,» said Branko Vujovic, the deputy prime minister in charge of the economy. «We cannot speak about the recovery yet but we think that by the end of the year conditions for the recovery will be created.» (Reuters) Guodian projects Guodian Corporation, one of China’s top five power generation groups, is looking to invest in a range of energy projects in Serbia and Bosnia, including a 1,680-megawatt hydropower plant, officials said. (Reuters)