Observer Eesti Oü

WEEK 45th 2003

Monday, 3rd of November, 2003

Estonian pension reform one of the most successful in Europe - expert
Paavo Põld, chairman of Hansapanga Kindlustus, says that Estonia's pension reform has been one of the most successful in Europe.
"In 1.5 years around 55 percent of Estonia's working population or over 320,000 people have joined the funded pension pillar. The principles and technical solution that were developed have been working well and funds from companies to tax board to the securities centre and to the people's pension accounts are being transferred without problems, " said Põld.
Põld explained that the pension reform launched in Estonia was unique in this way that Estonia started to implement its pension reform from a very difficult demographic situation: the ratio of people who work and pay social tax and the number of pensioners has fallen to 1.6. "It was a bold step in this situation to leave the decision on joining the pension fund voluntary and make it compulsory only for young people entering the labour market. This risk has paid off," said Põld.

Tuesday, 4th of November, 2003

K-Arvutisalong grew faster than others
Fastest growing computer manufacturer K-Arvutisalong increased to a second position by turnover. K-Arvutisalong increased its turnover by 90 percent up to EEK 19 million compared to October last year. Computer production increased over 50 percent up to 1090 computers. The company manufactured 720 computers in respective time period last year.
Market leader Ordi shined with perfect results for the third month in a row. Both production and turnover were biggest in the history of Ordi. Net turnover of Ordi increased by 10 percent up to EEK 33.9 million compared to October last year. Ordi's computer manufacturing reached over the limit of 2000 computers for the first time, having increased by 10 percent up to 2148 computers.
ML Arvutid that purchased itself out of MicroLink concern in summer fell from second position to third by turnover in October. ML Arvutid manufactured 1720 computers in October and positioned on the second place by production.

Baltic banks have issued 180,500 VISA smart cards
Baltic region are among the leaders in issuing VISA smart cards in Central and Eastern Europe. Of over one million of VISA smart cards issued in CEE region, Baltic banks account for 180,500 cards. By now, member banks of VISA International in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia and Slovakkia have issued over one million VISA and VISA Electron smart cards.

Number of flight passengers up by 30 percent in a year
Over 70,000 passengers used the Tallinn's Airport for reaching the destination in October.. This is 30.2 percent more than in October last year.
In ten months of this year, more than 590,000 passengers have sued the airport. Last year, the respective indicator was 509,000.

Wednesday, November 5th 2003

Quarterly turnover of Tallinn Kaubamaja Group up 23 percent
Estonian-owned department store group Tallinna Kaubamaja reported a 23 percent rise in third-quarter profit to EEK 443 million.
In nine months the group's consolidated net sales amounted to EEK 1.23 billion which is 15 percent more than a year ago.
The company has 31,960 square metres of sales floor area or 18 percent more than last year.
Also the company's third-quarter consolidated profit is up strongly, by 80 percent, to EEK 15.8 million.
However, in nine months consolidated figures, the company's nine-month profit is EEK 28.9 million and 10 percent lower than last year.
The key factor in improved profitability was the Selver chain of supermarkets, which accounted for 40 percent of profit growth. Analysts say that this is the result of repositioning, which Selver underwent in 2002, lowering prices of many products.

Tech Data has a record turnover in October
In October one of the biggest Estonian IT wholesalers AS Tech Data Eesti reached a record turnover of EEK 50.5 million.
According to AS Tech Data Eesti and the Tech Data Baltic region manager Kaur Lohk. Lohk noted that the turnover was 42 percent above last October and 31 percent above September.

Thursday, 6th of November, 2003

Imports to Estonia up sharply in September
According to preliminary data, Estonia's foreign trade deficit was EEK 2.7 billion in September, up from 1.8 billion in August. Compared to September 2002, exports were up 9 percent in a year. Compared to September 2002, imports increased 17 percent.

Chains of gas stations ahead of stores by profit
Estonia's most successful retail vendors are oil companies Neste and Statoil that enjoy much greater profit than ordinary retail companies.
Markets and supermarkets are all in the end of the profitability charts of TOP 100. Only traditional retail company that can offer competition to oil companies is Tallinna Kaubamaja.
In the table that ranks retail companies by the growth of profit, only Kesko Food that manages Säästumarkets and Citymarkets fits between the oil companies that rank also in the top of the chart.

Friday, 7th of November, 2003

Fitch raised Hansabank's rating
Rating agency Fitch raised the rating of Hansapank's commercial papers by one degree up to the level of F1. Whereby the agency raised also the supporting rating to the level of 1 and changed the outlook of consolidated debt from stable to positive, announced the bank to the stock exchange.

Nine-month profit of Sampo Bank reached EEK 79.5 million
Net profit of AS Sampo Pank consolidation group reached EEK 79.5 million after nine months and net profit of the third quarter was EEK 30.5 million. Profitability of equity was 22 percent.
Amount of clients has increased by 21 percent in nine months, whereby the number of private clients has increased by 25 percent.

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