With respect to recent press articles with comments about the liquidity levels of the Company, PPC clarifies that:
- The increase in overdue receivables in Q1 2012 is mainly driven by Low Voltage customers. Apart from the worsening of the economic situation in Greece that impacts our customers’ ability to pay on time, this increase is also associated with the imposition and collection of the real estate special levy. Specifically, in the first months following the imposition of the real estate special levy (i.e. Oct. – Dec. 2011), and due to the fact that by law PPC –as well as all other suppliers- was obliged to proceed with power cuts if the customers did not pay within 40 days from the issuance date of the electricity bill, there was a downward trend in overdue receivables, despite recessionary conditions. The increase of the 40 days time limit to 80 days, following a relative interpretation circular issued by the state, coupled with a legislative measure that constrained PPC from proceeding with power cuts in case a customer had not paid the real estate special levy, led to sharp reduction of power cuts in Q1 2012 and in turn, to the increase in overdues, taking also into account the total additional charge of these customers through their electricity bills by € 2,5 billion for the real estate special levy (the average level of charging of the bills which were issued during the period from 10.10.2011 to 10.02.2012 was much higher). Since March, power cuts have started increasing again and we are seeing signs of improvement in the collection rate of bills.
- Like many others players in the electricity market, the liquidity of the Company has been burdened by the outstanding debts of alternative electricity suppliers Hellas Power and Energa, the operation licenses of which were suspended.
- Additionally, Company's liquidity has been adversely affected by the necessity of pre-financing the cost of supplying electricity to 200,000 customers of these companies until the collection of the respective accounts
- Cash flow is expected to improve in the 2nd quarter, as a result of:
o the effect of the tariff increases
o the increased revenues as a result of the fact that PPC is supplying the 200,000 former customers of alternative suppliers Hellas Power and Energa
o the offsetting of receivables from Public Sector entities (estimated amount : € 100m, over and above the € 53 m that have already been offset, representing overdue receivables from traffic lights in Attica)
o tax return of € 167 m (with respect to advance tax payment effected in 2011)
- The Board of Directors has already approved the terms of a Syndicated Loan of an amount of € 960 m for the refinancing also of 2012 debt maturing.
Athens, April 20, 2012