ATHENS, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Greece's biggest power utility
Public Power Corp. (PPC) said on Thursday that its second
quarter core profit more than tripled from a year earlier,
helped by a plunge in oil and gas prices this year.
PPC, which is 51% state-owned and plans to switch off all
its coal-fired plants but one by 2023, said earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at
275.3 million euros ($325.93 million), up from 75.6 million in
the same period last year.
It said its costs fell sharply as prices of fuel and natural
gas for its plants, and carbon emissions costs, have fallen
sharply due to the impact of the coronavirus.
PPC, which provides 66% of Greece's electricity, has seen
its finances suffer in recent years and still has more than 2.7
billion euros in unpaid bills owed by customers who struggled
during the country's economic crisis.
The utility said it was still having difficulties in
collecting the bills, while revenue also dropped 11.7% to 1
billion euros on lower market share and weaker electricity
demand during a lockdown that Greece imposed in March to stem
the spread of COVID-19.
Chief Executive Officer Georgios Stassis was confident the
utility would overshoot its 2020 EBITDA target, which was 650
million-700 million euros. EBITDA is now expected to reach 850
million-900 million euros as energy costs continued to drop, he
($1 = 0.8447 euros)
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Susan Fenton)