Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 25.2006

Friday, 23rd of June

Lithuanian insurance market up 20 percent
The Lithuanian insurance market grew by 20.3 percent in the first five months of this year from a year earlier to LTL 557.969 million. The non-life insurance market increased by 16.7 percent year-on-year to LTL 421.396 million, accounting for 75.5 percent of all premiums written. The life insurance market soared by 32.8 percent to LTL 136.573 million. A total of 1.721 million insurance contracts were concluded during the five months, up 7.8 percent year-on-year. The number of life insurance contracts reached 20,100, of which 14,000 were investment insurance contracts.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Lithuania absorbs only 12.5 percent of EU support funds
Lithuania absorbed LTL 386 million or 12.5 percent of EU funds allocated for the years 2004 to 2006 as of late March of this year. A total of 1,835 agreements were signed for LTL 2.332 billion in financial support, of which EU funds amounted to LTL 1.699 billion, or 55 percent of the total sum of money allocated for the implementation of the 2004-2006 Single Programming Document (SPD).
Some 5,387 applications were submitted as of late March for a total of LTL 8.994 billion worth of assistance, which accounts for 216 percent of all funds earmarked for the 2004-2006 period.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lithuania's ticketing system bilietai.lt raises sales 30 percent
bilietai.lt, Lithuania's ticketing system, raised a turnover by 30 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 20 million in its second business year ended on May 31. Ticket sales doubled, to some 0.5 million units, with over 10 percent distributed by internet. The number of events serviced by the system rose by 2.5 times, to 1,500.
The business year results exceeded the expectations owing to the success of company's strategy focused on both organizers and audience of events.
Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 22nd of June

Lithuanian companies boost Q1 profits 24 percent
Aggregate pretax profits of Lithuanian companies rose by 24 percent in the first quarter of this year from a year ago to LTL 1.7 billion as revenues increased by 25 percent to LTL 31 billion. The average profitability of all companies, measured as a ratio of pretax profits to revenues, reached 5.6 percent in the first quarter, unchanged from last year's level. Year-on-year, pretax profits grew by 63 percent in the wholesale and retail trade sector, 58 percent in the energy sector, 36 percent in the land transport sector, and 17 percent in the real property sector. Pretax profits in the industrial sector fell by 10 percent. Hotel and restaurants ended the first quarter in the red, but the sector's quarterly losses were significantly lower than a year earlier. Construction firms operated profitably in the first three months of this year after posting losses for the same period last year. The wholesale and retail trade sector accounted for the largest portion of the total revenues, 40 percent, followed by the industrial sector with 31 percent, energy and transport with seven percent, construction with five percent and the business services sector with four percent.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Satrija makes clothing for world-famous sailors
Lithuanian garment producer Satrija has started manufacturing sailing clothing, with its customers including British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur and her team. Satrija, which is controlled by the Lithuanian multi-business group SBA, will produce complete sets of sailing wear, from underwear to protective suits and shoes.
"The buyers themselves came to us. For a year, we produced suits for testing purposes. The customers were satisfied with our suits, and we have recently signed a long-term supply contract," SBA marketing and public relations director Gintare Mierkiene said.
Lietuvos Rytas

Incoming tourist flow to Lithuania grows 11.6 percent
The incoming tourist flow to Lithuania surged by 11.6 percent, year-on-year, to 414,000 tourists in the first three months of 2006. The number of tourists from Belarus soared by 20.1 percent, to 104,000, while the number of visitors from Russia, at 234,000, rose by 9.4 percent, year-on-year.
It attributed the rise in tourist flow from Belarus to the last year's decline in visa prices. The growth of the number of tourists from Russia was slower on the back of difficulties in obtaining visas. Over 2 million tourists visited Lithuania last year, preliminary estimations have shown.
Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 21st of June

DuPont opens Baltic representative office in Vilnius
DuPont, the multinational chemical manufacturer serving a wide range of markets and active in more than 70 countries, has opened a representative office for the Baltic countries in Vilnius on Tuesday.
"The company opted to set up its representative office in Vilnius since Lithuania accounts for the largest share of revenues in all three Baltic countries," Armand Klein, DuPont director for Central Europe, said.
The company's revenues in the Baltic countries surged by 25 percent in the first three months of 2006, year-on-year. The sales are projected to reach USD 20 million in 2006.
The key markets to be targeted by DuPont in the Baltic countries will include agriculture and foodstuffs, car repainting systems, construction and buildings, electronics, oil and gas.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Heating prices to rise 16 percent for Vilnius residents from July
Following a surge in natural gas prices, the heating tariffs for Vilnius residents will grow by LTL 0.02 per 1 kWh on average from July 1, in line with the new heating tariffs coordinated by the State Control Commission for Prices and Energy for Vilniaus Energija (Vilnius Energy), the largest Lithuania's heating supplier. From July, the heating price for the residents of the capital and Vilnius region will rise by 1.725 cents or approximately 16 percent, i.e. to 12.305 cents , from current 10.58 cents per 1 kWh (ex VAT). The price for other consumers will edge higher by 2.2 cents, to 12.78 cents per 1 kWh.
From July, the heating prices would also edge up in Druskininkai and Marijampole.
Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika

Sanitas nets LTL 11.64 million
Lithuanian pharmaceutical producer Sanitas said its consolidated net profit for the first five months of this year soared more than six-fold from a year earlier to LTL 11.64 million thanks largely to a successful real estate sale. The group's net profit for May increased 13-fold to LTL 10.498 million, up from LTL 805,000 in the same period last year. Sanitas CEO Saulius Jurgelenas said the strong financial result in May was due to the sale of real property in Kaunas at a higher-than-expected price.
Sanitas, which is building a new plant, sold its real property located in the centre of Kaunas to Baltvesta, a Vilnius-based company, in early May for LTL 27.087 million and is now leasing its premises from the new owner.
The group earlier projected LTL 11.48 million in consolidated net profits on sales of LTL 66.79 million for the full year 2006, but now plans to revise these targets. Lietuvos Zinios

Tuesday, 20th of June

Kraft Foods Lithuania retains lead on Lithuania's market
Kraft Foods Lietuva, the Kaunas-based snacks and confectionery maker controlled by Kraft Foods International, the second-largest global food maker, retained the lead on Lithuania's coffee, chips and confectionery markets last year.
The company importing its Jacobs coffee from Germany, held 34.5 percent of Lithuania's coffee market last year. Tchibo held 10.7 percent of the market, Simeks - 9.6 percent, Paulig - 8.4 percent, Merrild - 6.1 percent, Nestle - 3.7 percent, and Educho - 3.5 percent.
Lietuvos Zinios

Eurochem marks heating scheme of Lifosa as strategic project
Russia's Eurochem, the key shareholder of Lifosa, has put the heating project developed by the Lithuanian phosphate fertilizer manufacturer, into the list of strategic projects of the Lithuanian company. The project worth approximately LTL 21 million envisages streamlined use of heat produced at the sulphuric acid workshop. According to the strategy approved by the Russian company for the development of its phosphorus plants, Lifosa would continue with the implementation of its heat utilization project. Moreover, the company would replace some installations so as to boost the efficiency of its operations.
Lifosa has already applied for the LTL 6 million support from the EU structural funds.
Lietuvos Zinios

CBA Aibe retailer raises sales 19 percent
CBA Aibe, the retail group active on Lithuania's and Latvia's markets, reported sales of LTL 303.02 million for the first four months of 2006, a rise of 19 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 253.9 million. The sales of Lithuania's retail chain CBA Aibe grew by 8 percent, to reach LTL 178.4 million, while the sales of Latvia's Aibe surged by 40 percent, to LTL 124.6 million in the reporting period.
Verslo Zinios

Monday, 19th of June

Zalgirio Loto seeks news owners
Amidst a decline in revenues in the Lithuanian lottery industry, the owners of Zalgirio Loto, a national lottery operator, are looking for a new investor and are considering selling their shares. Sarunas Dusevicius, Zalgirio Loto's majority shareholder, confirmed that talks were underway to sell the shares.
"We have talked with Swedes, Canadians and Hungarians and are now in talks with Italians. The trouble is that foreigners want to take over the business cheaply, rather than investing in it," he said.
Dusevicius would not reveal why they had decided to seek a foreign investor, only said that Zalgirio Loto wanted to develop new products.
Verslo Zinios

Exports determines growth of turnover
One of the biggest country’s ventilation and heating equipment producers Salda reported LTL 13.1 million turnover in the first quarter of this year, a rise of 41 percent since the same period in 2005. The growth is associated with the growing export volumes. In May Salda cancelled sales in the Lithuanian market and now continues trade with foreign countries. Salda exports production to majority of EU countries, Turkey, Croatia, Switzerland and others.
Verslo Zinios

Agreement over salaries in Mazeikiu Nafta
212 out of 300 employees of Mazeikiu Nafta have approved a collective agreement in a secret ballot. The refinery will allocate additional LTL 26 million to the employees this year. The sum will be used to boost salaries and pay premiums and social guarantees.
Mazeikiu Nafta currently employs 3.3 thousand people who are paid monthly salaries of LTL 1,800-1,900. The net profit of the company came in at LTL 900 million in 2005.
Lietuvos Zinios

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