Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 33.2006

Saturday, 19th of August

Some Lithuania's meat companies have failed to use SAPARD support
Some Lithuania's meat processing companies have failed to meet the economic viability indexes set forth in their respective business plans, and the National Audit Office claims that as much as LTL 100 million in SAPARD funds have not been used as required.
A total of 18 companies, including two - Ceceta and Burgis, which have already been subject to bankruptcy proceedings, fail to meet the viability indexes.
"The remaining companies are active, although their performance results are poor. What will happen to them? The National Paying Agency, which has assigned the money, must monitor these companies and take adequate measures," Rasa Budbergyte, Lithuania's Auditor General, said.
The agency shall monitor the beneficiary company for five years following the assignment of funds. If any deviations from the business plan are observed, the businessmen may be required to repay the funds. If the financing is not yet completed, the agency may stop the payment of funds.
Lietuvos Rytas

Revenues of Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai up 14 percent
Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai, the state-run railway operator, posted LTL 588.7 million in revenues for the first half of 2006, a rise of almost 14 percent versus the year-earlier figure. The operating costs grew by 8 percent, to LTL 494.5 million, on the back of almost 15 percent rise in the prices of diesel fuel. However, the railway operator remained in the black in the first half of this year.
Revenues on freight transportation comprised 89.7 percent of interim revenues and made up LTL 527.9 million, a rise of 14 percent year-on-year. Revenues on passenger transportation increased by 6 percent, to LTL 23.1 million, to comprise 3.9 percent of total six-month revenue figure.
Lietuvos Zinios

Siauliu Bankas boosts profit
The group of Siauliu Bankas, the fast growing Lithuania's commercial bank, reported LTL 8.1 million in audited net profit for the first half of 2006, a surge of 2.4 times versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 3.33 million. The interim profit of the group came below the six-month profit of Siauliu Bankas, which alone posted LTL 8.435 million in net profit in the reporting period.
Operating revenues of the banking group totalled LTL 21.319 million in January-June, while the revenues of the bank alone made up LTL 19.226 million. Operating profit for the group and the bank alone made up LTL 5.543 million and LTL 4.688 million, respectively.
Lietuvos Zinios

Friday, 18th of August

Lietuvos Pastas reports losses
Lietuvos Pastas (Lithuanian Post) reported losses of LTL 2.997 million for the first half of this year, although revenues were up 11.1 percent from a year earlier to LTL 86.75 million. Lietuvos Pastas had forecast losses for the full year 2005 due to rising wages and other costs. However, it posted a pretax profit of LTL 825,800 for the year, down from LTL 5.76 million the previous year.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Olympic Casino enters Belarusian market
Olympic Entertainment Group (Olympic Casino), the biggest gaming operator in the Baltics, has opened its first casino in Belarus. The company said it has invested LTL 2.6 million in the new slot casino in Minsk as part of its plans to invest EUR 3.5 million in the Belarusian market by the end of this year.
Lietuvos Rytas

InfoEra chosen as Lithuania's authorized dealer of software developer Route 66
InfoEra, Lithuania's complex IT solutions developer, has become an authorized dealer of Route 66, the Dutch developer of software for global positioning system (GPS) navigation, in Lithuania. Backed by new partners, the Lithuanian company expects its revenues in the GPS navigation software sector to rise by one-third, year-on-year, to LTL 1 million.
"This partnership will enable us to offer travellers the most advanced and effective GPS technologies yet unseen on Lithuania's market," InfoEra CEO Sarunas Prokopimas said.
Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 17th of August

Lithuanian construction sector grows 19 percent
Lithuanian builders carried out construction work for a total of LTL 1.834 billion during the second quarter of this year, a rise of 18.6 percent from a year earlier. The total value of construction work performed by Lithuanian companies within the country rose by 19 percent to LTL 1.817 billion, while the value of construction work carried out abroad fell by 10.8 percent to LTL 16.8 million. New construction accounted for 48.1 percent of the total volume of construction work performed in the country, repair and maintenance for 25.1 percent, reconstruction for 24 percent, and other work for 2.8 percent. Non-residential construction accounted for 41 percent of the total volume, engineering structures for 39 percent, and residential construction for 20 percent.
Total investment in the construction sector in the second quarter grew by around 26 percent year-on-year to LTL 3.369 billion, of which LTL 380 million went to residential construction.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

British Airways cuts off flights to Lithuania again
UK carrier British Airways, which re-established service to Lithuania after a few years' break in 2005, has decided to terminate flights on the route London-Vilnius in autumn.
"The decision to terminate flights on the route London-Vilnius was particularly hard to take. However, this route is not profitable enough, and we have decided to turn down this service at the end of October," Rasa Barisiene, British Airways sales and marketing manager, said.
The UK company wills stop any flights to Vilnius on October 29.
British Airways first opened the route London-Vilnius back in 1998, to terminate it in 2000 and re-establish in late March 2005. Late in March 2006, the company operated daily service on its London-Vilnius route.
Currently flights from Vilnius to London are being offered by Lietuvos Avialinijos, British Airways and Latvia's airBaltic. Irish no-frill carrier Ryanair offers a route to London from Kaunas.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios

Hronas to install facades of 19-story building in Riga
Lithuanian windows and facade manufacturer Hronas has signed a cooperation agreement with Rietumu Banka, one of the biggest Latvian banks, after winning a contract to install the facades of a new 19-story office building in Riga. The Lithuanian company will design, manufacture and install the facades of the bank's building under construction in the central part of the Latvian capital city. It will also design and install a facade maintenance system.
This will be Hronas' largest project outside Lithuania and the second largest in its history.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 16th of August

Lifosa lifts sales
Lithuanian phosphate fertilizer manufacturer Lifosa reported sales of LTL 372.718 million for the first seven months of this year, a rise of 9.09 percent from LTL 341.63 million a year earlier. However, sales for July fell by 12.1 percent year-on-year to LTL 61.64 million.
Lifosa said earlier that its first-half net profit slumped to LTL 11.274 million from LTL 38.36 million a year ago. It ended the second quarter of this year with a loss of LTL 5.276 million.
Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika

Money in circulation up to LTL 249.2 million in Lithuania
Currency in circulation in Lithuania rose by LTL 249.2 million over July, to reach LTL 7.2 billion at the end of the month, the Bank of Lithuania reported. External assets of the central bank rose by LTL 97.8 million in July, to reach LTL 11.6 billion. Deposits by residents shrank by LTL 48.3 million and made up LTL 3.7 billion at the end of the month. Central authorities' deposits declined by LTL 70.3 million, to LTL 1.4 billion in the reporting period.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lithuania's current account deficit surges 61.9 percent
Lithuania's current account deficit totalled LTL 3.4 billion in the first half of 2006, a surge of 61.9 percent versus the year-earlier figure. In June alone, the deficit plunged by 45.9 percent, year-on-year, to reach LTL 347.2 million. Compared with May, foreign trade deficit rose by LTL 61.8 million, however, the increase was offset by the surplus of current transfers account, which soared by approximately 2.6 times. Moreover, the income account deficit shrank by approximately one-third in June, month-on-month.
Lietuvos Zinios

Monday, 14th of August

Profit of Vilkyskiu Pienine slumps
Vilkyskiu Pienine, one of the most technologically advanced cheese producers in Lithuania, posted a net profit of LTL 34,000 for the first half of this year, down from LTL 702,000 in the same period a year ago. The company has published the net financial result in its semi-annual report.
The company says it exceeds its targeted sales this year. Therefore, the annual earnings are expected to be higher than planned.
Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika

FDI flow to Lithuania plunges by one-fourth in the first half of the year
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Lithuania totalled LTL 1.2 billion in the first half of 2006, a decline of 25 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 1.6 billion. In June, the FDI amount rose by LTL 126.6 million versus May, to reach LTL 303.6 million. Taking into account the direct foreign investments of Lithuania's economic operators, the net inflow of foreign direct investments made up LTL 249.3 million in June and LTL 897.9 million in the January-to-June period.
The net investment portfolio was negative, at LTL 226.4 million, in the first half of 2006 since the investments of Lithuania's companies abroad far exceeded the investments of non-residents in Lithuania.

PKN Orlen will not pull out of Lithuanian refinery deal
The Polish oil group PKN Orlen has reiterated that its plans to acquire the Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta are serious and that it does not intend to pull out of the deal.
PKN Orlen Chairman Igor Chalupec said at a news conference in Warsaw on Friday that the agreed price for the shares in Mazeikiu Nafta was a fixed price, thus indirectly denying speculations in the Polish media that the company may try to lower the price since the Lithuanian refinery's market value has dropped as a result of disruptions in Russian oil supplies.
Mazeikiu Nafta decided in late May to pay no dividend from its 2005 net profit of LTL 885.714 million and instead carried it forward into the next financial year.
Lietuvos Zinios

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