Oil Report

Bosnia Serb power utility lifts H1 revenue, profit

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Bosnia’s second-largest power utility EPRS increased its net revenue by 45 percent in the first half of 2008 to 292 million Bosnian marka ($215.6 million), a top company official said on Thursday.

“The revenues of the Elektroprivreda RS went up because of good output and strong exports,” General Manager Branislava Milekic told Reuters.

Net profit of the majority state-owned company amounted to 34 million marka in the first half, against a similar loss a year before, she said.

Milekic said the value of exports had increased four fold to about 87 million marka after the price of electricity on the world market went up by 57 percent.

Bosnia and Bulgaria are the only electricity exporters in southeast Europe, while other countries remain dependant on imports, with power shortages ranging from 30 to 50 percent.

The company plans to invest 150 million marka this year in its production and distribution network. Milekic said 28 million marka would be invested in small hydro-power plants and about 34 million in thermo-power plants.

EPRS is one of three power utilities operating in the ethnically-divided Balkan country and covers the Serb Republic, while the EPBiH and HZHB operate in the Muslim-Croat federation, the country’s other autonomous half. ($1=1.35 Bosnian marka) (Reporting by Olja Stanic; Writing by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Daria Sito-Sucic and David Holmes)