CORPORATE BRIEFS

Aluminum giant ZSNP group reports 1998 loss of 1.17 billion Sk

Companies clustered around parent company aluminum works ZSNP in Žiar nad Hronom reported a consolidated loss of 1.17 billion Slovak crowns in 1998, up 42.7% from the yeat before.

Stanislav Drgona, vice chairman of the board of directors and director for the company's strategy of the parent company, said that the ZSNP group had been hurt by the costs of financial operations, which came to 1.59 billion crowns in 1998. The group also reported a drop in operating profit by more than 230 million crowns to 853 million. Drgona attributed this fall to the need to create greater reserves and low aluminum prices.

The group's production in 1998 was worth 10.79 billion crowns. Loans sat at 9.65 billion crowns against share assets of 5.79 billion crowns at the end of 1998.

The group sees a way out of its predicament in restructuring its debts and subsequently selling a stake in ZSNP to an investor. ZSNP's 12-member group includes smelter Slovalco and finished goods producer Alufinal, both of which are expúected to make a profit in 1999.

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