CORPORATE BRIEFS

Hydrostav construction company reports large first quarter losses

Unconsolidated and unaudited first quarter results of construction company Hydrostav, a.s. Bratislava have showed a loss of 32.65 million crowns, a shortfall of 43.986 million crowns from the same period of last year.

In 1998's first quarter the company earned a pre-tax profit of 11.351 million crowns. The main reason behind this gap is considerable drop in operating profit from last year's 46.308 million crowns to 1.292 million crowns, or by 97.2%.

Hydrostav is one of the largest construction companies in Slovakia, an it is currently facing a rapid decrease in sales because of decelerated motorway construction in Slovakia. Under the government of former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar, Slovakia saw extremely high growth in the motorway construction sector,a lthough, as a result in financing problems, the government still owes the contractor companies a sum exceeding 2 billion crowns.

Construction output took a rapid downward trend in the very beginning of this year. Public sector construction output was down by dramatic 59 %, while private sector construction output fell by 17.5 %.

For Hydrostav, loss from financial operations was 31.673 million crowns in the first quarter. Hydrostav's first quater sales were 1.285 billion crowns. The company's assets totaled 12.335 billion crowns in late March. Of this sum, current assets make up 86 % while the remaining 1.68 billion crowns are fixed assets.

The company has no long-term claims in late March while its short-term claims have exceeded 2.53 billion crowns.The company's long-term liabilities over this period amounted to 7.433 billion crowns while current liabilities of Hydrostav were at 2.371 million crowns.

On December 31, 1998 the company employed 7,271 people while their average monthly wage was a relatively high 12,315 crowns.

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