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Helios Group's Sales Down, Profit Almost Level

Domžale, 10 October (STA) - The group around the Domžale-based coatings maker Helios generated over EUR 253.4m in net sales revenues in the first nine months of 2013, which is 7% less year-on-year. However, the EBIT operating profit was only 2% down at EUR 13.5m due to good results in September, the company said on Thursday.

According to the press release on the website of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, the group's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was also only 2% lower year-on-year, standing at EUR 23.4m.

The company attributes this to the good performance in September, when the EBITDA more than doubled from the previous year to EUR 3.7m, as well as to better sales of more profitable products and lower labour costs, resulting from measures taken last year.

The share of material costs in net sales revenues meanwhile remained at 57% due to high market prices of materials.

Helios was listed by the government earlier this year among 15 state-owned companies slated for privatisation, while a consortium with a joint 73% stake in the company initiated activities for the sale already in September 2012.

The consortium consists of six banks (NLB, Abanka, NKBM, Banka Celje, Gorenjska banka, Probanka), two insurers (Zavarovalnica Triglav, Modra zavarovalnica) and five funds (SOD, Triglav skladi, NFD, Primorski skladi, KBM Infond).

According to media reports from August, the consortium has entered into exclusive talks with one of the two bidders that submitted binding offers, the Vienna-based group Ring International.

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