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Public Power Logs Net Loss as Fuel Prices Rise, Demand Falls

Public Power Corp SA, Greece’s biggest electricity company, posted a loss in 2011 because of increased fuel prices, lower demand and higher taxes at two units.

PPC had a net loss of 148.9 million euros ($199 million) in 2011 from a year earlier profit of 557.9 million euros, said the company in a filing today to the Greek bourse. Sales fell 5.1 percent to 5.5 billion euros.

Expenses for fuel, natural gas and energy purchases rose by more than 31 percent, or 553.2 million euros. Total electricity sales, including exports, fell 4.4 percent with the corresponding revenue declining 6.8 percent. Demand from Greek retail customers dropped 4.7 percent and revenue from the sector fell 7 percent, the company said.

“2011 has been an exceptionally challenging year as the Greek economy is going through the greatest recession of the last decades,” Arthouros Zervos, Public Power’s chairman and chief executive said in the statement.

“In 2012, we expect that the increase in tariffs and further payroll savings as well as all other initiatives for expense rationalization will have a positive impact on the financial results,” Zervos said.

Payroll costs fell more than 11 percent, or by 161 million euros, as the number of permanent employees declined in 2011 by 1,024 to 20,821. Electricity production from cheaper hydro generation dropped 20 percent amid lower rainfall.

The company said it will pay no dividend on 2011 earnings. Shares in the company fell 2.1 percent to 3.35 euros at the close of trade in Athens today. The stock has fallen 11.8 percent this year.

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