||Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006
Saturday, 8th of July
New car registrations up by one-third in Lithuania
A total of 8,679 new passenger and commercial vehicles were registered in Lithuania in the first half of 2006, a rise of 33 percent from 6,509 cars a year earlier, the market research company Autotyrimai reported. Volkswagen topped the rankings with 1,134 new car registrations or 15.9 percent of the market, in the six months. Toyota was second with 69 cars or 7.7 percent of the market, and Skoda was third with 505 cars, which translated into 7.3 percent market share. Opel ranked the fourth with 607 cars registered or 7 percent of the market, and was followed by Mitsubishi with 511 cars and 5.9 percent of the market. The top ten also included Ford, Peugeot, Renault, Citroen and Mazda.
Klasco stevedoring raises revenues
Klaipedos Juru Kroviniu Kompanija (Klasco), the largest operator in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, reported preliminary revenues of some LTL 55 million for the first half of this year, up 3.8 percent from LTL 52.65 million a year earlier. The company handled 3.9 million tons of cargo during the six months, 50,000 tons or 1.3 percent more than in the same period last year. The figures for the first half of 2005 do not include the results of a container terminal that Klasco sold at the end of that year.
"We expected to handle more frozen products in the first half, but the situation in the market was not favourable. Foreign importers have failed to agree with fish sellers on prices," Klasco CEO Valentinas Greiciunas said.
Ukmerge Technology and Business School will train specialists for a new office furniture factory of Narbutas and Ko that will start operating next summer. The company needs operators of woodwork and welders. Director of the school claims that the institution will prepare curriculum of the necessary professions and start education this year.
Friday, 7th of July
Lithuanian unemployment down to 2.9 percent in June
Lithuania's unemployment rate shrank by 0.2 percentage points, month-on-month, to reach 2.9 percent at the end of June, the Labour Exchange reported. The number of officially registered unemployed people was 62,000 as of July 1, a decrease of 3,500 jobless from a month earlier. Over a year, the unemployment rate declined by 1.5 percentage points. Among major cities and towns, the highest jobless rate was in Panevezys, 3.5 percent, while the lowest was in Siauliai, 1.5 percent. In Vilnius the unemployment rate stood at 2.1 percent as of July 1.
Sales of Sanitas soar
Sales by Lithuania's Sanitas pharmaceutical group surged by 2.7 times, year-on-year, to LTL 44.59 million in the first half of 2006, from LTL 16.3 million in January-to-June of 2005. In June alone, the sales totalled LTL 18.37 million, a six-fold surge versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 3.3 million.
Lithuanians enter Serbia
Lithuanian companies Arvi, Sanitex and Serbian Univerzal-Holding consortium have purchased the main nitrogen production complex Azotara Pancevo in Serbia at a price of EUR 13.1. The consortium pledged to invest EUR 30 million in the complex until 2008. The Lithuanian-Serbian consortium outrivaled Czech Republics Agrofert Holding, Hungarian Nitrogenmuvek and EMFESZ as well as a consortium of Serbian companies Farmakom MB and Sojaprotein in the tender.
Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios
Wednesday, 5th of July
Lithuania's cigarette market up 7.6 percent to 15.5 million packs in May
Lithuania's legal cigarette market grew by 7.6 percent in May from April to 15.5 million packs of 20 cigarettes. Philip Morris Lietuva held the biggest market share of 50.68 percent in Lithuania in May, followed by House of Prince Lietuva with 14.56 percent, Gallaher Group with 14.44 percent, JT International with 13.73 percent and British American Tobacco with 6.25 percent. The most popular brands of cigarettes were L&M with a 14.29 percent market share, Saint George with 13.04 percent, Red&White with 12.01 percent and Marlboro with 10.84 percent.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika
Dalius Trumpa becomes chairman of Rokiskio Suris
Dalius Trumpa has been appointed the new chairman of the management board of Rokiskio Suris, one of Lithuania's biggest dairy companies. Trumpa, who is the company's production director, will replace Nerijus Dagilis, a senior executive at the investment company Hermis Capital, who has resigned as the board chairman. Rokiskio Suris announced the new appointment to the Vilnius Stock Exchange on Tuesday. Rokiskio Suris Managing Director Antanas Trumpa and his partners hold 48.01 percent of the company's stock capital and 52.34 percent of votes.
Electricity sales by N-plant up 1.7 percent in first half of the year
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP), which is left with a sole unit running, generated 5.89 billion kWh of electricity in the first half of 2006. Electricity sales came in at 5.452 billion kWh, a rise of 1.7 percent from the year-earlier figure of 5.359 billion kWh. In June alone, the output made up 966 million kWh, while the sales stood at 894 million kWh, 2.2 percent over the June 2005 figure of 889.7 million kWh, INPP CEO Viktoras Shevaldinas said.
Tuesday, 4th of July
Revenues of Klaipedos Nafta products terminal down 12.4 percent
Klaipedos Nafta, the state-run oil products terminal, posted LTL 44.1 million in revenues for the first half of 2006, a decline of 12.4 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 50.352 million. In June alone, the revenues came in at LTL 7.7 million.
The terminal handled 3.278 million tons of petroleum products in the six-month period, a rise of 3 percent year-on-year. In June handling soared by 76.5 percent versus June 2005, to reach 569,400 tons.
Mazeikiu Nafta, the sole Baltic oil refining and transportation complex, is the key customer of Klaipedos Nafta, accounting for some 80 percent of total oil products handling at the facility.
Norfa opens its first six N pharmacies
Norfos Vaistine, a member of Lithuania's third-biggest retail group Norfa, has opened its first six pharmacies under the brand name N in five cities and towns across the country. It was announced earlier that the new pharmacy chain N was a joint project between owners of Norfos Mazmena, which operates the Norfa grocery chain, and the pharmaceutical retailer Gintarine Vaistine. There are plans to establish 58 N pharmacies this year, with a sales target of LTL 30 million in total.
Talks on sale of Lithuanian Airlines to FlyMe extended until autumn
LAL Investiciju Valdymas, the sole owner of Lietuvos Avialinijos (LAL), will continue its negotiations with the Icelandic-owned Swedish budget carrier FlyMe Europe on the sale of a 33 percent stake in LAL. Arunas Griskenas, LAL's CEO, said that the parties had agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations until September 30. "A significant progress has been made in the talks, compared with FlyMe Europe's initial offers, but the terms offered by the investors should change further in favour of LAL," Griskenas said.
LAL said earlier that the terms offered by FlyMe Europe were not in line with the Lithuanian airline's obligations to the state under a privatization agreement. FlyMe Europe intends to initially buy a 33 stake in LAL and increase its holding to 100 percent in the future.
LAL ended 2005 in the red after posting losses of over LTL 9 million for 2004. It has not yet published its final results for 2005.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios, Respublika
Monday, 3rd of July
Ukio Bankas investment group eager to expand aluminium production in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lithuania's Ukio Banko Investicine Grupe, the owner of Birac alumina refinery in Bosnia and Herzegovina, aims to further expand its business in the Balkan country via the creation of an integrated aluminium production infrastructure. The group intends to build one or several aluminium production lines, each with annual capacities of at least 125,000 tons. The projects should revive the production of bauxites, generation and transportation of electricity, alumina production and aluminium industry. UBIG has already opened search for partners to expand the scale of the project. The group has already attracted EUR 32 million in external investments to the Birac alumina plant, which it privatized back in 2001.
Over 50 percent of Lithuania's population to have no vacation or rest at home this year
Over one-third of Lithuania's residents intend to vacation at home, while 16 percent will have no vacations this year, the poll of RAIT has shown. The number of those aiming to vacation abroad, meanwhile, has declined by one-fourth compared with 2005. Some 32 percent of the polled would spend their vacation at the Lithuania's Baltic seaside, some 18 percent would opt for rural tourism or rest at country houses, while 12 percent would travel abroad, the poll showed. The majority of those opting for vacations at home are elder people with lower level of education and monthly income below LTL 600.
The most successful furniture producers
Furniture makers Klaipedos Baldai, Freda and Vilniaus Baldai take the leading positions in terms of 4-months sales in the country. Klaipedos Baldai boosted sales 18 percent up to LTL 36.904 million in the first four months of 2006, year-on-year. Freda raised sales 73 percent to LTL 35.807 million, while Vilniaus Baldai soared 6.5 percent to LTL 34.183 million.
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