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Serbia’s Power Monopoly EPS to Return to Profit, Government Says

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Elektroprivreda Srbije, Serbia’s state-owned power monopoly, will return to profit this year after losing money four years in a row, the government said.

“There will be profit this year in Elektroprivreda Srbije and it will be included in the planned budget revenue” for 2012, Deputy Finance Minister Dusan Nikezic told reporters in Belgrade today.

With more than 8,000 megawatts total installed capacity, of which two-thirds are in coal-fired plants, the Belgrade-based company had a 3.2 billion-dinar loss ($41.9 million) in 2010 following a loss of 8.5 billion dinars in the previous year. Its biggest annual loss in at least 10 years was 99.6 billion dinars, in 2007.

The expected dividend from EPS will aid Serbia’s efforts to keep the 2012 budget gap under 4.25 percent of gross domestic product, Nikezic said, appearing with International Monetary Fund officials after talks on Serbia’s $1.48 billion precautionary arrangement with the lender.

EPS, the biggest public company in the country, declined to comment on the earnings outlook and issued its own statement today on introducing internal supervision to “promote ethical and transparent operations” and combat corruption.

The move came after recent arrests of several former EPS officials on allegations that they allowed misuse of funds in company procurements while in office.



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