Investor Relations Information - 31.12.2002

Press Release for Financial Results FY/Q4 2002

PPC’s restructuring leads to improved financial performance:

  • Revenues increased by 11.2% to Euro 3,437 million
  • EBITDA increased by 16.7% to Euro 1,025 million
  • Net income increased by 157.9% to Euro 216 million


Note
: Based on Unaudited Financial Statements under International Accounting Standards (IAS) including fixed assets revaluation and associated additional depreciation charges

2002 Highlights

  • Total revenues increased by 11.2% to Euro 3,437 million, driven by a 3.7% consumption growth and the 3.6% and 3.85% tariff increases in July 2001 and July 2002 respectively.

    - Revenues include fees of Euro 59.4 million for services provided to the HTSO, which commenced in October 2002
  • Total operating expenses (excluding depreciation and energy purchases) increased by 7.5% to Euro 2,247 million:

    - Payroll expenses have increased by 5.7% to Euro 1,009 million due to salary increases from the last collective agreement and a stricter capitalisation policy for certain payroll costs.

    - Fuel costs (oil and natural gas) decreased by 2.5% to Euro 730 million mainly due to a reduction in natural gas prices.

    - Energy purchases increased by 34.1% to Euro 165 million representing increased use of imports to substitute for more expensive local generation.

    - Other operating expenses increased by 31.6% to Euro 508 million mainly because of the HTSO introducing charges in October 2002 for using the transmission system (Euro 70.5 million) and an increase in doubtful account provisions related to the dispute with the Personnel Insurance Organisation (PIO) that is being explained below.
  • EBITDA increased by 16.7% to Euro 1,025 million, driven by revenue growth and the lower increase of operating expenses. EBITDA margin for 2002 increased to 29.8% compared to 28.4% in 2001. EBITDA margin has been affected by the charges and revenues paid to and received from the HTSO, which commenced in October 2002, which makes it therefore not comparable to previous periods; the EBITDA margin excluding HTSO charges and revenues is 30.7%.
  • As previously undertaken, PPC has proceeded with the revaluation of its fixed assets to reflect the results of the independent valuation study. Total depreciation in 2002 amounted to Euro 525 million, compared to adjusted depreciation for 2001 of Euro 535 million. 2001 Profit & Loss items have been adjusted to reflect the additional depreciation charges and to make them therefore comparable to 2002 results.
  • 2002 EBIT amounted to Euro 500 million, an increase of 45.6% compared to the 2001 EBIT of Euro 343 million. 2002 EBIT margin increased to 14.5% compared to 11.1% in 2001. As mentioned before, following the fixed assets revaluation, EBIT and EBIT margins include full depreciation charges and are therefore not comparable to previously announced quarterly results.
  • Financial expenses were reduced to Euro 157 million, a 25.2% decrease compared to Euro 210 million for 2001, mainly as a result of:

    - Lower net financial expenses of Euro 215 million compared to Euro 249 million in 2001 resulting from lower borrowing levels, as PPC’s debt reduction programme continues, and decreased financing costs due to falling interest rates

    - Foreign currency gains of Euro 43 million in 2002 compared to gains of Euro 8 million in 2001, reflecting mainly gains from the depreciation of the Yen vs the Euro.
  • Pre-tax profits grew by 157.9% to Euro 343 million reflecting mainly the strong EBIT increase and the containment of financial expenses, while net income amounted to Euro 216 million, representing an 157.9% increase compared to 2001.
  • Net debt decreased to Euro 4,194 million (a reduction of Euro 572 million compared to year end 2001) reflecting PPC’s positive free cash flow and its continuing efforts to reduce debt. PPC is on target towards achieving a debt:equity ratio of 1:1 by 2005; this ratio now stands at 1.3:1
  • Capital expenditure for 2002 amounted to Euro 637 million compared to Euro 823 million in 2001.
  • Total equity in 2002 increased to Euro 3,189 million compared to Euro 462 million in 2001. This increase is predominantly due to the fixed assets revaluation mentioned before. As discussed in the 9M02 results press release, PPC felt prudent to book a provision following a dispute with the Personnel Insurance Organisation (PIO) regarding the obligation to supply electricity to PPC’s pensioners at reduced prices. 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 that has been actuarially estimated at Euro 217 million. In addition a provision for doubtful accounts of Euro 38 million has also been booked. Of the total provisions of Euro 255 million, an amount of Euro 138 million has been booked against equity reserves, Euro 91 million has been booked as a deferred tax asset and Euro 26 million has been booked against the Profit & Loss account.
  • Current headcount decreased to 28,698 compared to 29,487 employees at 31st December 2001


Summary Financials (Unaudited IAS, Euro million)

Summary Profit & Loss

2002

2001(A)

2002 vs 2001(%)

Total Revenues

3.437

3.091

11,2%

Total Operating Expenses (excl. depreciation)

(2.412)

(2.213)

9,0%

- Total Payroll Expenses

(1.009)

(955)

5,7%

- Total Fuel Expenses

(730)

(749)

(2,5%)

- Energy Purchases

(165)

(123)

34,1%

- Other Operating Expenses

(508)

(386)

31,6%

EBITDA

1.025

878

16,7%

EBITDA margin (%)

29,8%

28,4%

-

Depreciation & Amortisation

(525) (1)

(535)

(1,9%)

Profit from Operations (EBIT)

500

343

45,6%

EBIT margin (%)

14,5%

11,1%

-

Total Financial Expenses

(157)

(210)

(25,2%)

- Net Financial Expenses

(215)

(249)

(13,7%)

- Foreign Currency Gains/ (Losses)

43

8

437,5%

- Other Income

15

31

(51,6%)

Pre-Tax Profits

343

133

157,9%

Net income

216

84

157,9%

EPS (in Euro)

0,93

0,38

144,6%

 Notes:

1 Includes additional depreciation charges of Euro 234 million following the fixed assets revaluation which was posted as of 31 Dec. 2002

(A) As adjusted.
Summary Balance Sheet & Capex

2002

2001

2002 vs 2001(%)

Net Debt

4,194

4,766

(12,0%)

Total Equity

3,189

462

590,3%

Capital Expenditure

637

823

(22,6%)

  • Tellas, the fixed-line telecoms joint venture of Wind and PPC, launched operations on 3rd February 2003 with a positive market reception to date. Tellas plans to achieve a market share of c. 16% by 2005.


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

"I am very pleased to announce that our restructuring programme continues to bear fruit and its results are reflected in PPC’s solid financial performance in 2002. Revenues increased by 11.2% to Euro 3,437 million while EBITDA increased by 16.7% to Euro 1,025 million. Income before taxes increased by 157.9% to Euro 343 million. This includes additional depreciation of 234 Euro million from the fixed assets revaluation to reflect the results of an independent valuation of PPC’s fixed assets. Based on our strong financial performance we intend to propose a dividend of 50 Euro cents per share for the year 2002. For 2003 we aim to maintain our focus on delivering further improvements through our on-going restructuring programme.”


For further information, please contact:

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

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