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IN SHORT

SPP's profits from gas sales falling

EVER-WARMER winters and reduced consumption by Slovak households have cut into the profits of the country's natural gas utility, Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP).

In 2004, SPP's profit on gas sales to households was around Sk316 million (€8.9 million), while this year it is expected to fall to Sk260 million, the Pravda daily reported on January 29.

SPP's biggest profits - over Sk25 billion in 2005 - continue to come from the transit of Russian gas to Western Europe.

At a time when it is under pressure from the government to reduce household gas prices, SPP has called on the energy market regulator, the Office for the Regulation of Network Industries, to allow it to make a fair profit. The company's margin on household gas sales this year is expected to be only 1.4 percent.

"We expect a reasonable profit from the sale of our products," said SPP spokesperson Dana Kršáková.

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