Investor Relations Information - 23.11.2002

Press Release for Financial Results 9M/Q3 2002

PPC continues its strong financial performance throughout 9M 2002:

  • Revenues increased by 9.2% to euro 2,520 million
  • Pre-tax profits increased by 63.5% to euro 423 million

Note: Based on Unaudited Financial Statements under International Accounting Standards (IAS)


9M 2002 Highlights

  • Total revenues increased by 9.2% to euro 2,520 million, driven by a 5.8% consumption growth and a 3.6% tariff increase effective as of July 2001 and a 3.85% tariff increase in late July 2002.
  • Total operating expenses (excluding depreciation) increased by 5.8% to euro 1,749 million:

    - Total payroll expenses increased by 9.4% to euro 763 million, partly because of a stricter capitalisation policy to certain payroll costs.

    - Fuel costs decreased by 4.2% to euro 556 million mainly due to a 13.8% reduction in natural gas costs.

    - Energy purchases increased by 48.1% to euro 116 million representing increased use of imports.

    - Other operating expenses increased by 5.9% to euro 315 million mainly because of increased electricity generation and an increase in doubtful account provisions as explained below.

  • EBITDA increased by 17.8% to euro 771 million, driven by revenue growth and the lower increase of operating expenses. EBITDA margin increased to 30.6% compared to 28.4% in 9M 2001.
  • EBIT increased by 22.6% to euro 560 million with an EBIT margin of 22.2% compared to 19.8% in 9M 2001.
  • Non-operating expenses were reduced to euro 136 million, a 31.0% decrease compared to 9M 2001, mainly as a result of:

    - Lower net financial expenses of euro 171 million compared to euro 208 million in 9M 2001. This 17.9% decrease resulted from lower borrowing levels and decreased financing costs.

    - Foreign currency gains of euro 26 million, compared to foreign currency losses of euro 3 million in 9M 2001, reflecting mainly gains from the weakening of the yen vs the euro.

  • Pre-tax profits grew by 63.5% to euro 423 million reflecting mainly the strong EBITDA / EBIT increase.
  • Net income amounted to euro 261 million, with earnings per share of euro 1.13 compared to euro 0.90 in 9M 2001.
  • Net debt decreased to euro 4,273 million (a reduction of euro 492 million compared to FY 2001 or a reduction of euro 661 million compared to 9M 2001) reflecting PPC's positive free cash flow and its continuing efforts to reduce current debt levels.
  • Capital expenditure for 9M 2002 amounted to euro 444 million. Main projects include the Komotini power generation station (completed) and the Florina power generation station (expected to be operational by 1Q 2003), and the expansion of the transmission and distribution network.
  • Equity increased by euro 223 million to euro 487 million. This is after the provision that PPC felt it was prudent to make following a dispute with the Personnel Insurance Organisation (PIO) arising in summer 2002 relating to the obligation to supply subsidised electricity (reduced prices) to PPC's pensioners. The outcome of this dispute is still uncertain. In these circumstances, PPC has decided to book a provision for the full amount of the present value of this potential exposure. This has been actuarially estimated at euro 215 million. In addition a provision for doubtful accounts of euro 16 million (50% of the related outstanding PIO receivable) has also been booked. Of the total provisions of euro 231million, an amount of euro 138 million has been booked against equity reserves, euro 81 million has been booked as a deferred tax asset and euro 12 million has been booked against the Profit & Loss account. This will have no material impact on PPC's cashflow.
  • Current headcount decreased to 28,847 employees (compared to 29,613 employees at 30th September 2001) as a result of natural attrition and selective hiring policies.

Summary Financials (Unaudited IAS, euro'000)

Summary Profit & Loss

9M 2002

9M 2001

9M 2002
vs
9M 2001(%)

Total Revenues

2.520.382

2.307.622

9,2%

Total Operating Expenses (excl. depreciation)

(1.749.020)

(1.652.669)

5,8%

- Total Payroll Expenses

(762.769)

(696.981)

9,4%

- Total Fuel Expenses

(555.717)

(580.120)

(4,2%)

- Energy Purchases

(115.598)

 (78.078)

 48,1%

- Other Operating Expenses

 (314.936)

 (297.490)

 5,9%

EBITDA

771.362

654.953

17,8%

EBITDA margin (%)

 30,6%

28,4%

-

Depreciation & Amortisation (Net)

(211.797)

 (198.536)

 6,7%

Profit from Operations (EBIT)

559.565

 456.417

22,6%

EBIT margin (%)

22,2%

19,8%

-

Non-operating Expenses

(136.444)

 (197.620)

 (31,0%)

- Net Financial Expenses

(170.664)

 (207.806)

 (17,9%)

- Foreign Currency Gains/ (Losses)

25.705

(2.782)

-

- Other Income

8.515

12.968

 (34,3%)

Pre-Tax Profits

423.121

258.797

63,5%

Net income

261.495

197.849

32,2%

EPS (in euro)

1,13

0,90

25,6%

   
Summary Balance Sheet & Capex

 9M 2002

9M 2001

9M 2002
vs
9M 2001(%)

Total Assets

7.931.743

7.829.421

1,3%

Net Debt

4.273.259

4.934.045

(13,4%)

Total Equity

487.307

263.810

84,7%

Capital Expenditure

444.058

595.751

(25,5%)


Public Power Corporation's Chief Executive Officer, Stergios Nezis, said:

"I am very pleased to announce that PPC's strong financial performance has continued in the third quarter of 2002. In the nine months of 2002, PPC's revenues have increased by 9.2% to euro 2,520 million while pre-tax profits have increased by 63% to euro 423 million. Furthermore, at September 2002 we had further reduced our debt levels by 13.4% compared to September 2001 levels. We believe that this performance is a result of our continuous efforts to maintain market share in a growing market and improve our operating performance. As we expect our strong financial performance to continue for the full year 2002, we intend to propose a dividend of at least euro 0.47 per share for the year 2002."


For further information, please contact:

Gregoris Anastasiadis, Chief Financial Officer, Public Power Corporation, Tel.: +30 210 522 5346.

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