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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 31.2006

Saturday, 5th of August

Sanitas’ purchase is detrimental
Poland's pharmaceutical company Jelfa, part of largest Lithuania's generic drugs maker Sanitas, posted PLN 20.005 million in losses for the first half of 2006. However, the company aims to end the year with profit.
"The losses are partly the result of one-off reorganization costs. Moreover, we have reviewed stocks. We strive to make the changes organic and gradual since the efficiency of company's operations is not a one-off thing. I think that we are already done with all major reorganizations," Saulius Jurgelenas, Sanitas CEO, said.
Jelfa would be back in black in the third quarter, he projected.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lithuanian milk exports surges
The exports of Lithuania-made consumer's milk soared in the first five months of 2006, with the bulk of these products going to Poland. Moreover, domestic producers also raised the exports of butter, with the UK accounting for almost 73 percent of the total. The major part of total butter exports to the third countries, or 42.5 percent, went to Saudi Arabia.
Lietuvos Zinios

Ryanair carried more passengers from Kaunas
Irish no-frill carrier Ryanair has serviced 107,000 passengers in Lithuania in less than one year of business in the country since it launched flights from Kaunas in September 2005. Ryanair offers flights to London, Stockholm and Dublin from Kaunas, and will add routes to Frankfurt from October.
Budget Hungarian company Wizzair also operates in Kaunas.
Kauno Diena

Friday, 4th of August

The international rating agency Fitch Ratings has upgraded the rating outlook for SEB Vilniaus Bankas to Positive, from Stable. Moreover, the agency has also affirmed the ratings assigned to the bank, i.e. the long-term rating A, short-term rating F1, individual rating C and support rating 1. The ratings are the highest among Lithuanian commercial banks.
Lietuvos Rytas

VP Market is successful in Latvia
The biggest retail trade operator in the Baltics VP Market posted earnings of LVL 3.383 million in Latvia in 2005, a rise of 1.8 times since 2004. Turnover of VP Market grew 32.6 percent to LVL 232.569 million in the neighbouring country last year.
VP Market controls the chain of stores Maxima, T-Market and Albinuta in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Achema boosted sales in internal market
Jonava-based Achema, producer of nitrogenous fertilizers, reported income of LTL 458.3 million in the first half of the year, a 1.5 percent increase since the same period in 2005 when it came in at LTL 451.5 million. Export volumes of the company dropped 10 percent to LTL 327.5 million, while the sales in Lithuania grew by 40 percent to LTL 109.7 million.
In the nearest future, Achema is to start producing new nitrate fertilizer.
Lietuvos Zinios

Thursday, 3rd of August

Bonum Publicum insurer nets LTL 718,600
Bonum Publicum, a Lithuanian life insurer owned, posted a net profit of LTL 718,600 for the first half of this year, versus a loss of LTL 342,000 a year earlier. Insurance premiums written in January-June soared by 60 percent year-on-year to LTL 4.5 million, the company said. Bonum Publicum targets a 40 percent growth in insurance premiums in the full year 2006, from LTL 6.81 million last year.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika

Klaipeda Nafta’s revenues drop
Klaipedos Nafta, the state-run oil product terminal operator, posted LTL 48.6 million in revenues for the first seven months of this year, a drop of 10.7 percent year-on-year.
The company handled 3.638 million tons of oil products during the seven months, 4.1 percent more than in the same period a year ago.
"Our revenues declined because we reduced handling charges last September in order to stay competitive. But we did not increase expenses, which enabled us to raise profits this year," Klaipedos Nafta spokesman Eugenijus Vilunas said.
The terminal operator's pretax profit for the first half of this year surged by 40.4 percent year-on-year to LTL 14.6 million. Revenues for January-June grew by 12.8 percent to LTL 43.88 million.
Verslo Zinios

Lithuania's Kuusakoski to handle old Michelin tires
Finnish-owned Lithuanian waste recycling company Kuusakoski said it has signed a contract with Michelin tire importers to collect and recycle 1,580 tons of old Michelin tires by the end of this year. It did not disclose the value of the contract. All recycled tires will be shipped for utilization to Finland or Estonia.
Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 2nd of August

Lithuanian PM plays down oil supply worries
Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas has played down the recent disruption in Russian oil supplies to Mazeikiu Nafta, saying that the situation should be back to normal once Poland's PKN Orlen reaches a deal with Russian oil exporters.
"As you now, the company (Mazeikiu Nafta) is currently in the process of ownership change. Talks on oil supplies are still ongoing," Kirkilas said.
"I believe that Mazeikiu Nafta, with its new owners, will be a good partner (for Russian exporters). It would be very surprising if they failed to agree. I believe that they will eventually reach agreement," he said.
However, the premier did not disclose whom PKN Orlen was negotiating with.
Mazeikiu Nafta has received no crude oil via the pipeline from Russia since July 26. Economy Minister Vytas Navickas said that the refinery expected pumping to resume on Wednesday. The company is currently using its Butinge offshore terminal to import crude by sea.
Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios, Respublika

State-run Vilnius International Airport serviced 817,900 people in the first seven months of 2006, up by 12.2 percent from year-earlier. However, the number of flights declined by 1.7 percent, to 17,000.

Lithuanian farmers' drought losses top LTL 200 million
The Lithuanian government intends to provide at least LTL 200 million in disaster relief to drought-stricken farmers, whose losses are estimated at over LTL 600 million. Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said that the government would decide on Thursday if to declare a drought emergency in the country. He spoke after Tuesday's Cabinet meeting, which discussed relief measures for farmers who have been badly hit by drought.
The Lithuanian Agriculture Institute estimates that this year's grain harvest may be 15-22 percent lower than last year due to adverse weather conditions.
Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios, Respublika

Tuesday, 1st of August

Mazeikiu Nafta cuts output owing to pipeline failure
Mazeikiu Nafta, the sole Baltic oil refining and transportation complex, has cut the refining volumes as it did not receive the additional supplies of crude from Russia on July 29-31 owing to a failure in the trunk pipeline on Russia's territory. The refinery is operating at minimum capacities, processing some 14,000 tons of crude per day. The refinery had to receive 50,000 tons of crude from Saturday till Monday. The timing for the resumption of crude supply to the refinery is still unknown.
In August, the complex intends to deliver crude via the Butinte terminal, and the unloading of the first tanker to deliver 100,000 tons of crude is expected to be launched on August 1. Moreover, Mazeikiu Nafta would deliver crude required with two more tankers coming month.
The refinery has scheduled to process 800,000 tons of crude in August.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika, Kauno Diena

Linas almost EUR 1 million in red
Linas, the largest linen textile manufacturer in the Baltics, reported LTL 3.306 million in consolidated losses for the first half of 2006 as it struggled to overcome the impact of growing imports of Asia-made textile products to the European Union and the decline of prices of the linen products and demand on the market. The sales of the group came in at LTL 29.379 million in the reporting period, a decline of 22 percent year-on-year.
Verslo Zinios

Exports rise 27 percent in 2005
Lithuanian exports grew by 26.9 percent to LTL 32.767 billion last year compared with the previous year, while imports rose by 25.5 percent to LTL 43.152 billion. The foreign trade deficit widened by 21.3 percent to LTL 10.385 billion. The country's biggest export partner was Russia, accounting for 10.4 percent of last year's exports, followed by Latvia with 10.3 percent, Germany with 9.4 percent and France with 7 percent. Russia also topped the import rankings with 27.8 percent of total imports. Other major import partners were Germany with 15.2 percent, Poland with 8.3 percent and Latvia with 4 percent.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

Monday, 31st of July

Profit of Snaige falls to LTL 1.16 million
Snaige, the only household refrigerator manufacturer in the Baltics, said its consolidated pretax profit for the first half of this year fell to LTL 1.16 million, down from LTL 16.2 million a year earlier, blaming the decline on difficulties in the Russian market.
Consolidated sales for January-June dropped by 21.8 percent year-on-year to LTL 128.9 million.
"Due to a very strong competition from local, well-known brands and to the specific conditions on the Russian market, our initial sales and marketing strategy proved unsuccessful," Snaige CEO Mindaugas Sestokas said.
In his words, that forced Snaige to reorganize its sales structure in Russia and change its operating strategy.
"These changes have produced tangible results: sales in Russia in July are more than 50 percent stronger than in June. Orders from customers for the coming months also provide some ground for optimism," Sestokas said.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Construction prices up 1.2 percent in Lithuania in June
Construction prices in Lithuania edged up by 1.2 percent in June versus May and were up 9.8 percent compared with the same period a year ago, the Statistics Department reported. Month-on-month, wages and overhead costs increased by 2.5 percent, while prices for construction materials and products went up by 0.5 percent. The per-hour cost of construction equipment operation grew by 0.3 percent in the reporting period.
Verslo Zinios

Profit of Klaipedos Nafta surges to LTL 14.6 million
Klaipedos Nafta, the state-run oil product terminal operator, said its pretax profit for the first half of this year surged by 40.4 percent year-on-year to LTL 14.6 million. Revenues for January-June grew by 12.8 percent from a year earlier to LTL 43.88 million. Klaipedos Nafta is projecting a pretax profit of LTL 14.5 million for the full year 2006, close to last year's level of LTL 14.563 million. Revenues are expected to reach LTL 82 million this year.
Lietuvos Zinios

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