Building activity in the private sector dropped 8.6 pct in December 2010, for a decline of 23.7 pct in the year, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Wednesday.

Market sources said a recession in the building sector resulted to slower economic growth and employment in the country.

The statistics service said the size of private building activity totaled 5,106 building permits, up 2.8 pct in December compared with the same month in 2009. In the January-December period, building activity in the private sector fell 10.9 pct (measured on building permits) and by 23.7 pct in volume, compared with the same period in 2009.


Business briefs...


-- ATEbank on Wednesday announced lower losses and provisions last year, with after tax and minorities losses totaling 438.1 million euros, down from 451.7 million euros in 2009, while provisions fell 26.8 pct to 604 million euros in 2010, down from 825.3 million euros in 2009. The bank’s board will seek shareholders’ approval to a share capital increase plan, worth 1.26 billion euros.

-- Vivartia Group on Wednesday reported a loss of 191.2 million euros for 2010. Greece’s largest food industry group said sales fell to 1.08 billion euros, from 1.46 billion euros in 2009 (which included results by Chipita). EBITDA totaled 20.77 million euros, while EBIT showed a loss of 34.82 million euros.

-- Alumil Group, a Greek-listed aluminium product manufacturer, on Wednesday reported a drastic cut in its losses to 1.60 million euros in 2010, from 9.37 million euros in 2009, a decline of 83 pct.

-- ELGEKA on Wednesday said its consolidated turnover rose 11.1 pct to 352.7 million euros in 2010, from 317.6 million euros in the previous year. Consolidated EBITDA fell 7.1 pct to 12.8 million euros.

-- The Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday announced the temporary suspension of trading of Alter TV shares in the market. The decision was taken because the listed company was expected to delay publishing its annual results due to a strike mobilisation by its work force.

-- Thessaloniki Water and Drainage SA on Wednesday said its turnover fell 8.0 pct to 71.182 million euros in 2010, from 77.376 million euros in the previous year, while its pre-tax profits eased 5.5 pct to 20.878 million euros from 22.093 million euros over the same period, respectively.