Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

SPP utility says early 2001 loss no fluke

State gas giant Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (SPP) announced May 9 that it had recorded a 1Q loss of 176.3 million crowns ($3.6 million), a rapid fall-off from a four billion crown profit for 2000.
The company blamed the loss on rising world oil prices, domestic price caps which force it to sell gas at below purchase costs, and a weak crown.
It also warned that unless something was done to alter the price caps fixed by government there were no guarantees results in coming quarters would be different.

State gas giant Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (SPP) announced May 9 that it had recorded a 1Q loss of 176.3 million crowns ($3.6 million), a rapid fall-off from a four billion crown profit for 2000.

The company blamed the loss on rising world oil prices, domestic price caps which force it to sell gas at below purchase costs, and a weak crown.

It also warned that unless something was done to alter the price caps fixed by government there were no guarantees results in coming quarters would be different.

"Nothing can be guaranteed with profits while the situation with regulated prices stays as it is," said SPP spokesperson Helena Polaková.

The government has raised gas prices four times since coming to power in late 1998, the price of gas almost doubling in the last three years. However, SPP has complained that in maintaining a price cap the state has hurt its profits as oil prices have risen. Analysts say this will influence the price any investor is willing to pay for a stake in a firm limited in setting gas tariffs.

The government hopes to sell a 49% stake in SPP for 100 billion crowns ($2 billion) by October this year. So far, Russian gas giant Gazprom, and a consortium of Italy's Snam, Gaz de France and Germany's Ruhrgas have confirmed their interest in SPP.

News of the company's faltering performance comes only a few days after the state's advisors on the privatisation, Credit-Suisse First Boston (CSFB), said it would recommend a sale of the entire 49% share. This came only a week after its suggestion that 15% could be offered on foreign markets.

Analysts have said that selling the stake as a whole to a single investor would assure the state maximum revenues from the sale.

Top stories

Slow down, fashion

Most people are unaware that buying too many clothes too harms the environment.

In shallow waters, experts are expendable

Mihál says that it is Sulík, the man whom his political opponents mocked for having a calculator for a brain, who “is pulling the party out of liberal waters and towards somewhere completely different”.

Richard Sulík is a man of slang.

Poll: Smer followed by SaS, KDH also in parliament

Had the general election taken place in mid-February, the opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) would place second, and the now extra-parliamentary KDH would get nine seats.

Alojz Hlina took over at the helm of KDH

Woman who urinated on the Quran arrested, awaiting trial

Some observers believe the video might lead to increasing security risks for Slovakia.

The accused woman arrives to the court.