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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-08-27

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Hellenic Petroleum reports improved H1 results
  • [02] Marfin Popular Bank net profit up 26% in Q2
  • [03] Acropolis Museum visitor figures
  • [04] Stocks end flat on Thurs.

  • [01] Hellenic Petroleum reports improved H1 results

    Ēellenic Petroleum Group on Thursday reported a 6.0-pct increase in its comparable net profits to 114 million euros in the first half of 2009, compared with the corresponding period last year, reflecting higher average refinining margins, a stronger US dollar and the results of a restructuring programme.

    The group, in a statement, said operating results improved in the first quarter, but a negative economic environment affected its performance in the second quarter of the year.

    Pre-tax, interest and amortisation earnings (EBITDA) rose 24 pct in the January-June period to 215 million euros, on a comparable base. The refining and distribution sector reported a 35 pct increase in EBITDA to 173 million euros, while in the distribution sector EBITDA rose 11 pct despite a decline in sales in aviation and shipping fuel. The petrochemicals sector suffered from an international financial recession.

    Parent net profits fell 17.8 pct in the second quarter to 106 million euros, slightly above market expectations, reflecting lower oil prices in international markets. Hellenic Petroleumās board approved payment of 0.15 euros per share pre-dividend to shareholders.

    Commenting on the results, Yiannis Costopoulos, the groupās chief executive, said Hellenic Petroleum managed to improve its competitiveness and profitability in adverse market conditions.

    [02] Marfin Popular Bank net profit up 26% in Q2

    Marfin Popular Bank on Thursday reported a 26-pct increase in net profits to 50.3 million euros in the second quarter of 2009, compared with the first quarter of the year, reflecting a significant increase in operating revenues and lower operating costs.

    Pre-provision profits jumped 46 pct to 131.1 million euros, while net earnings to shareholders totaled 90.3 million euros with provisions more than triple to 123.6 million euros.

    Loans totaled 24.1 billion euros, for an annual growth rate of 24 pct while saving deposits grew 5.0 pct to 24.9 billion euros.

    Marfin Popular Bank Group said assets totaled 42 billion euros, up 21 pct compared with the same period last year, while pre-provision earnings for the first quarter totaled 221 million euros, down 24 pct from 2008.

    Group liquidity remained at extremely good levels with the lending to deposit rate at 96.5 pct in June. Group loans outside Greece and Cyprus totaled 2.9 billion euros, of 11 pct of total lending, of which 96 pct were in developed countries.

    The non-performing loans rate rose to 5.9 pct in June 30, from 4.5 pct last year.

    Efthymios Bouloutas, MPBās chief executive, commenting on the results said a significant improvement in the second quarter of the year reflected a prudent management of assets and the implementation of a cost cutting program. The bank, however, noted that given the uncertainty surrounding the economic and business environment in the aftermath of a global financial crisis, was making it difficult to forecast future profitability and noted that a business plan for the period 2009-2010 was aborted.

    [03] Acropolis Museum visitor figures

    Visitors to the new Acropolis Museum have reached half a million, only two months after its inauguration, with 60 percent of visitors hailing from foreign countries.

    The culture ministry publicised the figures on Thursday according to which, and over the same period, the museum's website was accessed by 409,000 different Internet users from 180 countries.

    [04] Stocks end flat on Thurs.

    Greek stocks ended flat in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday as a wave of profit taking in other European markets put the brakes to a seven-day rally of prices. The composite index eased 0.05 pct to end at 2,544.45 points, with turnover a heavy 307.7 million euros, of which 19.2 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved downwards, with the Constructions (3.02 pct), Raw Materials (2.54 pct) and Utilities (2.37 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Oil (2.24 pct), Telecoms (1.90 pct), Food/Beverage (1.35 pct) and Chemicals (1.27 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index eased 0.01 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.50 pct down and the FTSE 80 index fell 1.20 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 159 to 55 with another 47 issues unchanged.


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