April 23, 2020 / 3:43 PM / a month ago

Public Power posts big net loss after asset devaluation

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s biggest power utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) on Thursday posted a net loss of 1.68 billion euros ($1.8 billion) for 2019 after it wrote down the value of its coal-fired plants.

PPC, which is 51% state-owned and plans to switch off all but one of its coal-fired plants by 2023, said the figure compared with a net loss of 903.8 million euros in 2018.

Results were also hurt by a provision for the future dismantling of the loss-making plants and mines and the full land restorations once the plants stop operations.

Adjusted for one-off items, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 17.4% to 333.6 million euros.

PPC, which provides 60% 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.

New management who took over last year cut price discounts and payroll costs under a plan to overhaul the utility, moves which helped boost EBITDA to 236.8 million euros in the final quarter of 2019, up from 44.7 in the same period in 2018.

Under its 2020-2024 plan, PPC had expected EBITDA of 320-370 million euros for 2019 and 650-700 for the current year.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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