Bosnian utility EPBiH H1 profit slides 235 pct

* H1 net 3 million Bosnian marka ($2 million)

* Company cites lower electricity prices

* Also hit by U.S. dollar rise, higher government fees

* To send power tender to Swiss firm Alpiq on Friday

SARAJEVO, Aug 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Bosnia’s top utility
Elektroprivreda BiH reported first-half net profit down 235
percent to 3 million Bosnian marka ($2 million) due to lower
electricity prices.

First-half revenue fell 9.5 percent to 438.7 million marka.

A rising U.S. dollar also hit profit because the utility —
which also had to pay local communities higher fees for using
hydro power — uses the U.S. currency to pay off loans from the
World Bank, EPBiH General Manager Amer Jerlagic said.

“I hope we will maintain a positive trend until the end of
the year,” Jerlagic told a news conference, adding that the
final results would depend mainly on the dollar.

The company’s output rose 3.8 percent to 3,609 GWh while
electricity sales on the open market rose 13 percent to 1,509
GWh from the same period a year ago.

Majority state-owned EPBiH had made a net profit of 73.4
million marka in 2009, when it sold surplus electricity for
around 84 euros per megawatt hour. This year the company has
sold electricity in a range of between 16 euros to 54 euros.

EPBiH, based in Sarajevo, has invested more than 100 million
marka so far this year in the reconstruction and modernisation
of thermo-power plants in Kakanj and Tuzla, Jerlagic said.

Jerlagic said EPBiH will on Friday send tender documentation
for the construction of a new 450 MW block at the Tuzla
coal-fired power plant to Swiss energy firm Alpiq (ALPH.S: ),
which expressed interest in the project.
(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Michael Kahn and
David Holmes)

Bosnian utility EPBiH H1 profit slides 235 pct