Surcharge cost, 15% discount prompt PPC operating loss

The exclusion of supplier surcharges and a 15 percent discount offered to punctual electricity bill payers cost the state-controlled main power utility PPC nearly 500 million euros, leading to first-half operating losses of 148.5 million euros, a development, announced last week, that sparked a parliamentary debate following questions raised by the conservative main opposition New Democracy party.

The utility would have posted an operating profit without the impact of these two factors.

Earnings stemming from the sale of a 24 percent stake in IPTO, the power grid operator, to SGCC, the State Grid Corporation of China, offered vital financial support to the utility during the first half but, quite clearly, PPC will need to improve its financial performance from here on.

PPC’s contribution to the RES special account reached 170.3 million euros in the first half. This amount, a supplier surcharge, now represents an energy cost that needs to be incorporated into electricity prices.

Adding to this 170.3 million-euro cost a sum of between 250 and 300 million euros, the impact on PPC’s profit of a 15 percent discount offered to customers paying electricity bills on time, brings the cost of both factors to around 500 million euros, which led to the first-half operating losses.