Majority of Greek-listed companies returned to profitability in 2016

The majority of Greek-listed companies returned to profitability in 2016 after six years of losses, Beta Securities said in an analysis of 193 balance sheets, with net profits totaling 1.009 billion euros, up 114.3 pct compared with the previous year.

Turnover fell 1.7 pct to 62.889 billion euros and operating earnings rose 4.8 pct to 8.54 billion euros. From the 101 profitable companies, 41 raised their profits, 33 suffered a decline and 27 returned to profits from losses. On the other hand, from a total of 92 loss-making companies, 25 raised their losses, 57 reduced them and 10 returned to losses from profits.

The previous when Greek-listed companies were profitable was 2013, when profits totaled 2.5 billion euros, although 65 pct of companies was loss-making.

Beta Securities said the return to profitability in 2016 was the result of bankruptcies, mergers, restructuring of companies and mainly a stabilization in the economy as shown in the GDP figures for 2016. A reduction in turnover mainly reflected a 6.7 pct decline in refinery and fuel trading because of a decline in crude oil prices. Excluding refineries, turnover was unchanged in harmonization with economic trends prevailing in the country last year. Constructions (+22 pct) recorded the biggest percentage increase helped by a strong performance in the first half of the year, followed by the retail sector (+11 pct) and car leasing (43 pct).

Operating profits grew 14.3 pct, reflecting an increase in operating profit margin to 13.59 pct (the highest recorded since 2007), covering more than 50 pct of losses suffered in the previous years.

FFGroup, Motor Oil, Coca Cola HBC, GEK Terna, Hellenic Petroleum reported strong balance sheets, both for profits and cash flows, followed by TE, OPAP and Karelias. Three companies from the renewable energy sector (Anemos, Terna Energy and Envitec) had a strong fourth quarter raising their profitability, while Aegean Air, Plaisio and Intralot improved their mediocre results early in the year with a strong finish in 2016.

Among medium-sized enterprises, the strongest performances were recorded hy Sarantis, Thrace Plastics, Quest, Autohellas, while among smaller companies the top performers were MLS, Elton, Kanakis, Karatzis, Flexopack, Kiriakidis, Kri-Kri, Petropoulos, Kloukinas, Nakas, AS Company and Iaso Clinic.

Avax, MIG and Ellaktor reported lower than expected results, while negative or lower than expected results were released by Frigoglass, Forthnet, Euromedica, Karamolegos, Creta Farm, Elgeka, Kreka, Vioter, Akritas and Spyrou Farm.