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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 32.2006

Saturday, 12th of August

Lithuanian dairies to incur LTL 1.5 million extra expenses on exports to Russia
Russia has introduced additional quality checks on Lithuanian dairy imports, a measure that will cost major Lithuanian dairy companies around LTL 1.5 million annually. According to preliminary data, the heaviest burden of unplanned expenses, about LTL 0.5 million, may fall on Rokiskio Suris, the country's leading dairy producer.
Vetor, a Klaipeda-based company chosen by the Russian veterinary authorities to check the quality of dairy products exported to Russia, has set a fee of EUR 10 per ton of dairy products, but dairy producers will try to negotiate lower fees.
Other companies that will incur additional expenses because of quality checks include Pieno Zvaigzdes, Zemaitijos Pienas, Vilkyskiu Pienine and Marijampoles Pieno Konservai.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lithuanian Airlines steps up security after foiled terror plot
Lietuvos Avialinijos, the country's largest air carrier, has put in place additional security measures in response to heightened aviation security levels after a foiled terrorist plot in Britain.
"Passengers are advised not to take on board any hand luggage, especially if they are flying to Britain or major aviation hubs, such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Helsinki, and if their final destination is the United States," Vidmantas Mazonas, the airline's flight safety chief, said.
He added that this was a recommendation, rather than a strict requirement, so that to avoid additional security checks and screening procedures. Those passengers who want to take some luggage on board are advised not to carry any liquids onto aircraft.
Kauno Diena

Over one-third of households owned PCs
Over one-third, or 37 percent of Lithuania's households - 47 percent in urban areas and 18 percent in rural areas - owned a personal computer in the first quarter of 2006. The number of households with a PC rose by 26 percent, while the number of households with Internet access soared by 2.2 times, compared with the first quarter of 2006.
Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena

Friday, 11th of August

Lithuania's dairy companies unhappy about Russia's decision to raise cheese duties
Major Lithuania's dairy companies are disappointed with Russia's decision to raise the duties levied on imports of cheese from late September. However, their opinions seem to diverge as to whether Lithuania's cheese exports to Russia will decline as a result of that measure. The exports of dairy products to the third countries is eligible for the EU subsidies.
"The rise in duties should not result in any major changes in the company's exports to Russia. It will definitely have its effects on trade, however, it is yet not clear when these will show up," Gintaras Bertasius, CEO of Vilkyskiu Pienine, said.
Meanwhile, Antanas Trumpa, CEO of Rokiskio Suris, said that the hike in duties might prompt the company to cut exports to Russia, which would affect the performance figures of the company.
Julius Kvaraciejus, chairman of Pieno Zvaigzdes, noted that the raising of duties would affect both milk producers and processors.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios

Lietuvos Draudimas’ profit slumps
Lithuania's largest non-life insurance company Lietuvos Draudimas said its first-half net profit fell to LTL 1.3 million this year from LTL 4.4 million in the same period a year ago.
Lietuvos Draudimas attributed the decline in net profits to lower-than-expected investment income. Investment income for the first six months shrank by LTL 1 million from a year earlier to LTL 12 million, while investment expenses grew by LTL 5.6 million to LTL 11.3 million. The first-half performance results were also affected by a 51 percent year-on-year increase to LTL 72.5 million in claims paid.
Lietuvos Draudimas wrote LTL 165 million of insurance premiums during the first half, a rise of 22 percent from a year earlier. Gross premiums earned grew by 34 percent to LTL 133.9 million.
Verslo Zinios

Royal Unibrew expecting LTL 27.8-41.6 million gain on sale of Vilnius Tauras brewing facilities
Denmark's Royal Unibrew, the owner of Lithuania's second-largest beer producer Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe, expects the gain of some LTL 27.8-41.6 million on the sale of facilities and land of Vilnius Tauras brewery, part of Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe. This transaction would boost the earnings before taxes and interest (EBIT) by LTL 13.9-27.8 million in 2006. However, the costs on the closure of the brewing facilities would reduce the 2006 pretax earnings of Royal Unibrew by approximately LTL 11.6 million.
As reported on Wednesday, Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe has decided to move the production of Tauras beer from Vilnius to the Kalnapilis brewery in Panevezys, in the northern part of the country, owing to limited potential for the expansion of production in Vilnius.
Lietuvos Zinios

Thursday, 10th of August

Lithuania's exports rise 30.8 percent, imports up 30.7 percent
Lithuanian exports grew by 30.8 percent to LTL 19.113 billion in the first half of 2006 from a year earlier, while imports rose by 30.7 percent to LTL 25.001 billion. The foreign trade deficit for the six months widened by 30.4 percent year-on-year to LTL 5.888 billion, according to preliminary data based on customs declarations and Intrastat reports.
The rise in exports largely resulted on a 50.8 percent surge in exports of oils and oils made of bitumen minerals, 58 percent rise in exports of land transport vehicles, 75.8 percent growth in exports of plastics and articles thereof, and a 23.8 percent rise in exports of furniture.
Imports rose on the back of 42.6 percent increase in the imports of crude and natural gas, 49.4 percent surge in imports of land transport vehicles, and 38.5 percent rise in the imports of electrical machines and appliances, audio and video recording and reproduction devices and their parts.
Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios, Respublika

Tauras beer production to be moved to Kalnapilis brewery
Lithuania's second-largest beer producer Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe, which is owned by Denmark's Royal Unibrew, has decided to move the production of Tauras beer from Vilnius to the Kalnapilis brewery in Panevezys. Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe's management board took this decision in view of limited potential for production expansion in Vilnius.
Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe's annual pretax profit increased almost fivefold to LTL 3.498 million last year. Sales revenues grew by 5.3 percent to LTL 105.8 million.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika

PKN Orlen applies to European Commission over purchase of Lithuanian refinery
Poland's oil concern PKN Orlen has submitted a preliminary application to the European Commission for permission to buy Mazeikiu Nafta and said it will seek to finalize the deal as soon as possible despite disruptions in the supply of Russian crude by pipeline to the sole Baltic oil refining and transportation complex.
"The incident and all those obstacles related with the supply of crude to Mazeikiu Nafta do not change our position. We will seek to obtain the permissions and close the deal," PKN Orlen Vice-president Cezary Filipowicz said after the Wednesday meeting with Lithuanian Economy Minister Vytas Navickas.
He added that all required documents for the purchase of Mazeikiu Nafta had been submitted to the Commission. However, the Commission is currently in recess and will not consider this issue in August.
Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika, Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Wednesday, 9th of August

Five bidders to vie in e-ticket tender
Five bids have been received in a tender to install electronic ticket systems in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda. The tender administered by the local authority of Vilnius is valued at more than LTL 15 million. Sweden's CPT Nordic Aktiebolag is taking part in the tender in partnership with Sweden's Nassjotryckeriet and Lithuania's Telekomunikaciniai Projektai. Poland's Emax has submitted a joint bid with Lithuania's Sonex Technologies, while Lithuania's Fima has opted for Czech Mikroeletronika as its partner for this tender. Other bidders included Germany's Hoft Wessel and a consortium of Lithuania's Empirija and Poland's R&G Plus.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

July inflation at 0.5 percent, annual rate at 3.2 percent
Consumer prices in Lithuania rose by 0.5 percent in July from June, while the average annual inflation rate was 3.2 percent. The year-on-year inflation rate, in July compared with July 2005, was 4.4 percent.
The July consumer price index was pushed up by a 1.3 percent increase in prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel, a 1.4 percent rise in transport costs, a 1.7 percent rise in healthcare costs, and a 0.3 percent rise in prices of foodstuffs and soft drinks. That was partly offset by a 2.5 percent decline in clothing and footwear prices.
Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena, Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Almost 40 percent of Linas purchased by chairman-associated person
Lione Lenciauskiene, mother of Ramunas Lenciauskas, chairman of Lithuania's Linas, has acquired 39.9 percent of the company that controls the textile maker Linas Nordic.
Previously Pranas Jankevicius, Lenciauskas' business partner, held 41.71 percent of Linas, while the local company Rentija controlled a 17.29 percent stake. Vitoldas Martinovicius, Linas' board member, refused to confirm that the company mulled any changes in its structure following the transaction.
Linas group posted LTL 3.306 million in consolidated losses for the first half of 2006 as its sales shrank by 22 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 29.379 million.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 8th of August

Vagos Prekyba boosts sales
UAB Vagos Prekyba reported earnings of LTL 5.5 million in the first half of this year, a rise of 37 percent since the same period in 2005. Revenues from book sales stood at LTL 4.8 million, a 3.9 percent increase, year-on-year. The company’s income from the sales of office goods, souvenirs and CDs amounted to LTL 600,000, a rise from LTL 530,000 in 2005.
Verslo Zinios

Investments into packaging and labelling
Packaging services company PakMarkas will plough LTL 2.48 million into innovative technologies of label production. The company will invest a total of LTL 8.6 million in the renovation of printing technologies. The investments will allow PakMarkas to offer the market new products and will ensure the company stronger positions in the packaging and labelling market. In the second stage of the project, PakMarkas will invest in the equipment, renew and upgrade production and administration premises.
Verslo Zinios

Lithuania lags behind Latvia and Estonia in FDI flows
Lithuania lags behind other Baltic States in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) flow. Lithuania fell behind Latvia by 2.5 times and Estonia by 5 times in the proportion of FDI and GDP in the first quarter of this year. FDI in Lithuania amounted 3.6 percent of GDP in the January-to-March period, while in Latvia it accounted for 8.9 percent and in Estonia – 18.1 percent of GDP.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios

Monday, 7th of August

Apranga opens 1st Bershka store in Vilnius
Lithuania's leading clothing retailer Apranga on Friday opened the first Bershka store in Vilnius under a franchise arrangement with the Spanish group Inditex. This is the second Bershka store in Lithuania and the first in the three Baltic capitals. The first Bershka outlet in Lithuania opened for business in the port of Klaipeda last year. The new Bershka is Apranga's 54th store in the three Baltic countries.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Lithuanian unemployment up to 3 percent in July
Lithuania's unemployment rate edged up by 0.1 percentage point, month-on-month, to reach 3 percent at the end of July. The number of officially registered unemployed people was 64,600 as of August 1, a rise of 2,600 jobless from a month earlier. New unemployed totalled 13,400 in July, including 2,900 unemployed under 25 years of age. The number of vacancies totalled 19,100 in July, of which 93.6 percent were regular jobs. Among major cities, the unemployment rates ranged from 1.7 percent in Siauliai to 5.7 percent in Panevezys.
Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika

Ukio Bankas Group boosts net profit to EUR 5 million
Lithuania's Ukio Bankas Group posted LTL 17.764 million in consolidated net profits for the first half of this year, up 46.8 percent from LTL 12.102 million a year earlier. The first-half net profit of Ukio Bankas alone more than trebled to reach LTL 16.621 million.
Ukio Bankas targets a 56.3 percent growth in full-year net profits to LTL 30.6 million this year. The bank's net profits are expected to grow further to LTL 44.8 million next year and reach LTL 58.2 million in 2008.
Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios

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