Observer "Lietuva"

WEEK 26.2005

Saturday, 2nd of July

Exports grew more than imports
In 2004, Lithuanian exports grew 21.4 percent and imports went up 16.4 percent. In the previous year, Lithuanian companies exported goods worth LTL 25.82 billion, and imports amounted to LTL 34.83 billion. The foreign trade deficit reached LTL 8.56 billion last year, 4.8 percent higher than it was in 2003. The list of the main export partners of Lithuania included Germany (10.3 percent), Latvia (10.2 percent), Russia (9.3 percent) and France (6.3 percent). Most imported goods came from Russia (23 percent), Germany (16.8 percent), Poland (7.7 percent) and the Netherlands (4 percent).
Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios

June is successful for Gubernija
Gubernija, one of the leading Lithuanian breweries, said that it achieved record sales in June. The company sold 425,000 dekalitres of produce in the previous month, or 22 percent more compared with June of 2004. During the first half of 2005, Gubernija delivered 1.58 million dekalitres of produce, a rise of 14.5 percent year-on-year.
”Sales grew, since demand for all products was higher”, Violeta Dunauskiene, the communications director of Gubernija, said.
The overseas deliveries of the company in June climbed 5.2 times to 75,190 dekalitres from the year earlier. Half-year deliveries abroad totalled 171,300 dekalitres. Gubernija indicated that exports in June accounted for 19 percent of its total sales. The Lithuanian brewery has outlets in Israel, Latvia, Russia, the US, Germany and Sweden.
Compared with the first quarter of 2005, the quarterly sales of Gubernija this year rose 2.1 percent to LTL 9.8 million. Sales in terms of dekalitres surged 10.3 percent. The brewery projects beer sales of 2.85 million dekalitres in 2005.

Kaunas signed advertisement agreement with Ryanair
The city of Kaunas has signed a contract with Airport Marketing Services, the administrator of Ryanair's Internet site, on advertising of the Irish budget airline's first service between Kaunas and London, scheduled to start in the autumn. The municipality of Kaunas said that it will share the advertising costs, amounting to EUR 105,000 per year, with other institutions that took part in the negotiations with Ryanair - the Lithuanian Transport Ministry, the municipality of Vilnius and the State Tourism Department. Ryanair's Internet site attracts an average of 200 million visitors monthly.
The Irish low cost airline plans to begin daily flights from Kaunas Airport to London's Stansted Airport on September 22. It may also offer flights from Kaunas to Frankfurt, Dublin and Glasgow in the future, but decisions on these routes have not been taken yet.
Kauno Diena

Friday, 1st of July

Achema launched its first terminal aboard
Lithuania's nitrogen fertilizer and chemical manufacturer Achema, which is controlled by the leading domestic industrial group Achema Group, has opened its first foreign terminal based in Germany's Luebeck. The terminal in Luebeck, which Jonava-based Achema constructed in cooperation with the co-owners of Agro Baltic, the Germany's fertilizer trader that is 50-percent controlled by Achema, has the handling capacities of 150,000 tons of liquid fertilizers per year. The terminal, which has already handled some 20,000 tons of fertilizers, will mostly focus on carbamide-ammonium saltpetre, which enjoys solid demand on Germany's market. Luebeck terminal will supply fertilizers to eastern and northern Germany's regions.
Achema posted the net earnings of LTL 25.1 million on sales of LTL 659.8 million last year.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Growth of GDP
Lithuania's gross domestic product grew by 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2005, year-on-year, to reach LTL 14.688 billion, according to a revised estimate from the Statistics Department. The first-quarter growth figure was revised up from previous estimates of 5.6 percent in early June and 5.5 percent in April. According to preliminary reports, the GDP of the neighbouring countries Latvia and Estonia grew faster - 7.4 percent and 7.2 percent respectively.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Green light for the project of LAL privatisation
Lithuania's Privatization Commission has approved a draft agreement on purchase and sale of Lietuvos Avialinijos (Lithuanian Airlines or LAL), the flagship domestic carrier.
The transaction will be closed as soon as the draft will be backed by the government, the buyer will obtain the required permission from the Competition Council and submit other necessary documents to the State Property Fund, Antanas Malikenas, SPF director for privatization has said. The sale is expected to be completed within two months. Fima, the Lithuanian ICT solutions developer due to buy LAL, has pledged to pay over LTL 20 million for the carrier and invest additional LTL 20-28 million into the company. Fima intends to manage LAL with the backing of other partners, including private Vilnius-based air carrier Aurela and Turkish-equity tour operator Tez Tour.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 30th of June

The price of petrol and diesel fuel exceeds LTL 3
Yesterday the price of the most popular petrol and diesel fuel went up by LTL 0.01-0.03 in the petrol stations of Vilnius. The price is approaching a record verge of LTL 3. In the petrol stations of Neste, UnoX and Baltic Petroleum, in which petrol is the cheapest, a litre of petrol is LTL 2.92. a litre of diesel fuel costs LTL 2.89. The prices of fuel in Lukoil are LTL 2.94 and LTL 2.91 respectively. In Statoil petrol stations, which sell petrol by the highest prices, the fuel costs LTL 2.98and LTL 2.95 respectively. The price of oil in the world market, however, dropped to USD 58 for one barrel.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Arijus sells Aviakompanija Lietuva
Arijus, one of the largest cargo transport companies in Lithuania, has sold Aviakompanija Lietuva, a domestic airline, to Naglis Vysniauskas, the head of the company. The sum of money is not announced. Aviakompanija Lietuva, which Arijus bought for LTL 2 million a year ago, was the first investment of this company in the airline business. After losing the tender to privatise Lietuvos Avialinijos, Arijus decided to stop developing its passenger transportation business and sell the airline. Kauno Diena, Respublika, Verslo Zinios

TNS Gallup invests LTL 250,000 into the quality of research
Lithuanian media survey company TNS Gallup has invested LTL 250,000 into the quality of TV audience research. The company has acquired 600 new TV metres that can record the habits of ordinary as well as digital television viewing. Gytis Juodpusis, the head of THS Gallup, says that investments to a better quality TV audience data presentation is influenced by a developing market of television in Lithuania. TNS provides the data about the TV audience to all biggest Lithuanian television and media planning agencies every day.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 29th of June

Paper tickets will be replaced by electronic cards
Upon receiving a financial support from the European Union, municipalities of Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda are starting to implement a project of electronic tickets for public transport. This should reduce carriers’ expenditures and make the services of transport more available to people. By the end of the next year ordinary paper tickets should be replaced by a modern electronic card. The same card will be valid in all three cities. Moreover, it is planned that in the future the same card could be used for travelling by train and intercity busses. Electronic card might even replace cinema or theatre tickets.
Lietuvos Zinios

Nordea grants loan of LTL 28 million to Kaunas
Nordea Bank Lietuva, the Lithuanian unit of Nordea, the largest financial group in the Nordic and Baltic states, has granted two loans worth a total of LTL 28 million to the municipality of Kaunas. The city will use the money for street repair (LTL 8 million), the construction of the Kaunas entertainment and sports arena (LTL 20 million litas), and the development of infrastructure on Nemunas Island.
"The loan from Nordea Bank Lietuva is truly necessary. The development of the infrastructure of Kaunas is one of the main priorities of the municipality of Kaunas because it will help create a friendly business environment for investment," Giedrius Buinevicius, the head of administration of the city of Kaunas, said.
Kauno Diena

Fishery is promised a steady support
Joe Borgas, the EU commissar of Sea and Fishery affairs, visited fish processing and fishermen’s companies in Lithuania. In Klaipeda he was interested in how fishing in the sea was organized and how the accounting as well as control of fishing was carried out. The commissar came to Lithuania to evaluate the progress that Lithuania has made. Borgas was quite positive about the situation in the sector of fishery as he noticed that fishermen were interested in the sponsorship and realized that stability is needed in this sector.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Tuesday, 28 of June

The investments of Sanitas
Sanitas, Lithuania's biggest pharmaceutical manufacturer, controlled by an investment
house Invalda, is in talks to buy a 47.83 percent equity stake in Jelfa, one of the
biggest Polish pharmaceutical producer. The stake in Jelfa is currently held by the Polish State Property Fund (3.9 percent), the Industry Development Agency (26.1 percent) and the PZU insurance group (16.7 percent).
"We cannot predict when the negotiations will be completed," said Saulius Jurgelenas the Chief Executive of Sanitas. He also said that the company is interested in Jelfa because of its market.
Lietuvos Zinios

The situation of milk markets in Lithuania
Kazimiera Prunskiene, the minister of agriculture, was speaking with the specialists of State Food and Veterinary Office about the situation in milk farms. There are 177,537 milk markets in Lithuania. 85,000 of them are working and sell milk. Inspections in milk markets are carried out every year. Last year 78,433 milk farms were checked.
It is vital that the activities of all institutions are organized so that farmers would not suffer after the end of the transitive period.
Kauno Diena, Respublika

The future expansion of Vilniaus Baldai
Next week Vilniaus Baldai, the leading Lithuania's furniture producer controlled by
investment house Invalda, should sign an agreement for investments into Giriu
Bizonas, which belongs to West Timber Group. This should enable the company to get sufficient supply of the stock. Vilniaus Baldai relates its future with orders from a
Finnish trader IKEA, which is the largest client of Vilniaus Baldai. Vilniaus Baldai sales to IKEA comprise some 80 percent of total output.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Monday, 27th of June

The number of bet centres increases
Top Sport, the biggest company that organizes bets in Lithuania, together with its rival Omnibetas expands its activities. Top Sport decided to open a new bet centre in Klaipeda, while Omnibetas opens it in Rokiskis. Top Sport has 74 bet centres in Lithuania and 15 bet centres belong to Omnibetas. 41 centres belong to Orakulas. The income of the three companies reached LTL 15,369 million in the first quarter of this year.
Lietuvos Zinios

Investors have doubts about the millions
In July in should become clear whether Lithuania will get LTL 17.5 million for the one third of the shares of Lietuvos Dujos, that three years ago were sold to German concern E.ON Ruhrgas. Although officials claim that Lithuania has fulfilled all the necessary commitments for the investors, the representatives of the concern say that most probably Lithuania will not get the promised money.
Lietuvos Zinios

Structural funds have not yet improved life
Structural funds have not so far improved the quality of life in Lithuania. These resources will be mostly spent during this and the following year. Rolandas Krisciunas, the secretary of the Ministry of Finance, evaluates the beginning of spending of the money positively. He rejoices over the abundance of the projects. According to him, the competition of the projects allows to choose among the best of them. Krisciunas says that during this year contracts might be signed for two thirds of all the money allocated for this matter.
Kauno Diena

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