Observer "Lietuva"

WEEK 45th 2004

Saturday, 6th of October

Beer market grow by 5 percent
The Lithuanian beer market grew to 215.74 million litres in the first ten months of 2004, up by 5 percent from 205.42 million litres in the same period last year, the Lithuanian Brewers' Association has said. In October, the market increased by 13.3 percent to 19.95 million litres of beer, from 17.61 million litres a year ago.
Lietuvos Rytas

October was more successful for Klaipedos Baldai
Klaipedos Baldai, the leading Lithuania's furniture producer, reported sales of LTL 97.611 million for the first ten months of 2004, an increase of 15.7 percent from the year-earlier figure. In October alone, the company raised sales by 20.4 percent, on a twelve-month basis, to LTL 11.714 million.
In the first ten months of 2004, Klaipedos Baldai boosted exports by 15.8 percent, to LTL 92.438 million, while sales on domestic market reached LTL 5.173 million, an increase of 12.7 percent from the year-earlier figure.
Solely in October, the company's exports surged by 22.9 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 10.977 million, while sales on domestic market slipped by 8.1 percent, to LTL 737.2 million.
Klaipedos Baldai sees full-year net earnings of LTL 4.2 million after posting of pre-tax earnings of LTL 3.77 million for the first nine months of 2004.
Lietuvos Zinios

Store in Klaipeda FEZ
The first engineering equipment retail centre Onninen Express will be opened in Lithuania at the free economic zone (FEZ) in Klaipeda in February. The range of goods available at the new retail centre will include plumbing and heating, electrical engineering and lighting, cooling and air conditioning equipment. The Finnish company intends to open new retail centres at major Lithuania's cities each year. The major share of investments into the creation of new chain of retail centres would be borne by Finnish company; however the amount of investments is not disclosed.
Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 5th of October

Rokiskio Suris exceeds the targeted profit
Rokiskio Suris, country's leading dairy group, earned LTL 17.478 million consolidated net profit in the first nine months this year, an increase of 2.1 times compared to the same period in 2003. Earlier reports of the dairy indicated it had LTL 15 million consolidated profit for the period.
The sales of Rokiskio Suris grew 25,4 percent in the reported period from LTL 250.794 to LTL 314.554 million.
Besides, the report mentioned that the dairy group would expect the sum of subsidies paid by the EU for exports to non-EU countries to amount to LTL 10.705 million for the nine months.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Electricity tariffs to increase as of 2005
Electricity tariffs for all private users in Lithuania should rise by almost 7 percent, or 2 cents per 1 kWh next year. Vidmantas Jankauskas, chairman of Lithuania's State Control Commission for Prices and Energy, said that Vakaru Skirstomieji Tinklai (VST), the operator of western part of the national power grid, proposed to raise the electricity tariff for private households by 2 cents per 1 kWh from 2005.
Meanwhile, Algimantas Zaremba, RST board member, confirmed that the board of Rytu Skirstomieji Tinklai (RST), the other power grid operator, was expected to approve the identical tariffs later on Thursday.
With the backing of the commission, from January 1 the tariffs of electricity for private households will rise to 31 cents per 1 kWh, from 29 cents per 1 kWh (including VAT).
For industrial users, which receive electricity from medium-voltage grids, VST has proposed to raise the tariff by the average of 1.38 cents, or 8 percent, to 18.25 cents per 1 kWh (ex-VAT). Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios, Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Drogas expands
The Lithuanian branch of Drogas, a Latvian-owned cosmetics and household goods chain, experienced a growth of 62 percent in the first three quarters of this year from LTL 12.41 million in 2003 to LTL 20.1 million in 2004. Aukse Patumsiene, who heads the local branch of the Latvian chain, indicated that the turnover rose on development of the chain and intensive marketing policies.
On Thursday, Drogas opened a couple of new stores in western Lithuania: one outlet in Mazeikiai and the other - in Silute. This added up to 27 stores run by the Latvian chain in 11 cities of this Baltic state.
Drogas has invested in Lithuania more than LTL 10 million and created about 220 jobs.
Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 4th of October

Poles to shake insurance market
Upon acquiring four Lithuanian insurance companies in 2002-2004, the state controlled Polish insurer PZU, restructured them and changed their name. >From November 3, Lindra, Lindra Gyvybes Draudimas, NORD/LB Draudimas, and NORD/LB Gyvybes Draudimas will operate under the name of PZU Lietuva. PZU Lietuva hopes to hold some 25 percent of Lithuania's non-life insurance market and about 15 percent of life insurance market by 2008.
Edmontas Volochovicius, CEO of PZU Lietuva, underlined during a news conference on Wednesday that radical changes in damage regulation procedures in former Lindra and NORD/LB Draudimas would be the key task now. The company is to offer entirely new product, a group life insurance, which is very popular in Poland. Moreover, the company is soon to introduce insurance services distributed via bank branches.
Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas, Verlso Zinios

French will submit more offers
French transport, energy and shipbuilding giant Alstom, taking part in a tender for the purchase of locomotives announced by Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), intends to expand its business in Lithuania with provision of services to local energy operators.
The company expected to participate in projects on upgrading of Lithuania's power plants, in particular, the CHP in Elektrenai and the hydro power plant in Kaunas, said Bengt Assarsson, Alstom Lietuva president.
"We would also be willing to participate in a project on shutdown of Ignalina nuclear power plant (INPP), however, mostly as suppliers of traditional energy services," he added.
Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Ryterna thrusts to Western Europe
Lithuania's garage and industrial door producer Ryterna has teamed up with its German partners to build a LTL 3-million product distribution terminal in Germany in an effort consolidate its position in the western European market.
"Having gained sufficient momentum this year, Ryterna Deutschland will build a door distribution terminal in the German town of Fulda next year," Ugnius Motiejunas, deputy director of Ryterna, said.
The terminal should help Ryterna streamline its distribution process and achieve a significant growth in sales not only in Germany but also in Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and France in the coming years. "We hope to more than double our sales in these markets in 2005 and 2006," he said.
The company’s exports for the nine months soared by 120 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 11 million. Verslo Zinios, Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Wednesday, 3rd of October

The list of top three furniture makers remains stable
The list of the three major furniture manufacturers in Lithuania remained unchanged in nine months this year. It still included Klaipedos Baldai, Viniaus Baldai and Venta chair manufacturer from Siauliai. The latter is a part of Libros Grupe, largest wood and furniture company group in the country.
The nine-month sales of Klaipedos Baldai amounted to LTL 85.903 million, an increase of 14.3 percent year-on-year, Vilniaus Baldai pasted sales of LTL 72.75 million, a hike of 9.4 percent, and the income of Venta went up 26.1 percent to LTL 54.148 million.
Lietuvos Zinios

Ingman Ledai invests into plant
Ingman Ledai, a joint Lithuanian and Finnish ice-cream venture, gears up to open a new ice-cream plant, which will enable the company to raise its production capacities almost twofold in 2005. Investments into the 3-storey manufacturing building will reach some LTL 20 million, while in two years the total amount of investments will rise to some LTL 25 million.
Virgilijus Radvilas, CEO of Mazeikiai-based Ingman Ledai, said that in 2005, the ice-cream production capacities would rise to 10 million litters, from 6 million litters. By 2007-2008, the capacities would grow to 20 million litters.
Ingman Ledai reported LTL 19.5 million in turnover for the first nine months of 2004, an increase of 5.4 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 18.5 million. Revenues on exports surged by 44.4 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 6.5 million.
Verslo Zinios

Specific products raised sales of Vilniaus Vingis
Vilniaus Vingis, producer of deflection yokes for TV tubes, reported sales of LTL 107.57 million for the first ten months of 2004, an increase of 3.3 percent year-on-year.
Sales for October came in at LTL 9.65 million. Demand of specific production – stamps and press-forms increased the sales of the company.
Sales adjusted to reflect changes in the product supply method were LTL 11.55 million, down by 3.8 percent on the same time last year.
The company forecast the increase of sales by 6 percent for the full 2004.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios

Tuesday, 2nd of November

Profit of Informacines Technologijos grew 4 times
Growing exports helped Informacines Techologijos, a group of IT companies and the biggest distributor of Oracle services in the Baltics, to earn LTL 6 million pre-tax profit in the first nine-month this year, an increase of 3.75 times compared to the same period in 2003. The income of Informacinës Technologijos, which has operations all over three Baltic States, grew 80 percent in the reported period - from LTL 15.2 million to LTL 27.1 million.
"That impressive growth of sales resulted from a double increase in service supply and gradually growing export," Kestutis Uzpalis, the group's CEO, said.
Presently, the group employs 200 people, of which 60 work in Mebius IT, its Latvian branch, and 10 in Icefire, an Estonian subsidiary.
The sales in Latvia constitute one-fifth of the total incise of the company.
Verslo Zinios

Dvarcioniu Keramika earn
ed one millionDvarcioniu Keramika, the leading manufacturer of ceramic tiles in the Baltics, reported earnings of LTL 1 million for the first nine months of 2004, an almost tenfold rise from the year earlier figure of LTL 109,349.
In the first nine months of 2004, the sales of the company declined by 7.4 percent, to LTL 33.4 million, from LTL 36.06 million a year ago. The company has sold production aboard fro LTL 14.5 million. Majority of the production was exported to Germany, Great Britain and Scandinavia. Verslo Zinios, Respublika

PST profit
Panevezio Statybos Trestas (PST), the leading Lithuania's construction company, reported pre-tax earnings of LTL 1.203 million for the first nine months of 2004, a rise of 13.7 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 1.058 million.
PST reported turnover of LTL 85.8 million for the eight-month period, a rise of 6.2 percent from the turnover of LTL 80.8 million a year earlier.
Verslo Zinios

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