Budapest's local council-owned district heating company Főtáv has reduced its costs by HUF 4.7 billion over the past three years, CEO Lajos Kovacs said at a press conference on Thursday.
Főtáv closed 2009 with retained earnings of HUF 1.79 billion. The Budapest municipal council did not take out a dividend.
Revenue fell to HUF 51 billion in 2009 from HUF 56 billion in 2008, but profit grew about 50%. At the operating level, Főtáv booked a HUF 192 million loss, compared to a HUF 885 million gain in the previous year. Excluding extraordinary items, the company's operating profit came to HUF 1.3 billion in 2009.
This year, Főtáv expects results similar to last year. Capital expenditures are expected to rise to HUF 12 billion from HUF 9 billion in 2009. Főtáv pays for last year's investments with its own resources.
A planned HUF 29.9 billion expansion of Főtáv's network of heating pipes has already been mapped out and the process of applying for permits for the first stretch has already started, Kovács said. Tenders will be called for the other stretches in the coming weeks, he added.
Főtáv is looking for a site to build a 40MW capacity biomass heating plant it expects to put it into operation by 2012. A tender to supply the plant with fuel will be called in the near future.
A planned geothermal power plant is on schedule. Two offers were submitted in a tender to build the plant by the consortium of FCSM Energetika, Aquaplus and Pannergy and the consortium of VIKUV and Porcio.
Heat produced itself accounts for about 15% of Főtáv's sales.
Főtáv spokesman Robert Balog said the company had extended the deadline for applying for support under the ÖkoPlusz programme to make energy-efficiency improvements in buildings it supplies with heat from May 31 until September 30. The programme could potentially support HUF 27 billion in investments, he added.
By the middle of May, 808 buildings had applied for the support. Contracts had been signed with 295 buildings and work was already completed at about a hundred of these. (MTI-ECONEWS)