Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 34.2006

Saturday, 26th of August

Feasibility of interconnecting Lithuania's and Sweden's energy systems to be studied
Lietuvos Energija, the state-run power utility, and Sweden's Svenska Kraftnat, the electric power transmission system operator, are to conduct a feasibility study into the interconnection of Lithuania's and Sweden's energy systems. In line with the contract signed by both companies, the costs of the study, which will involve the assessment of all technical and economical aspects, will be shared equally.
"We are considering all options to integrate Lithuania's energy system into the common European electricity market. However, it will only be feasible if we have as many electric interconnections with the Western European and Scandinavian countries as possible," Rymantas Juozaitis, Lietuvos Energija CEO, said.
Lietuvos Energija and Svenska Kraftnat would study a possibility of interconnecting the transmission grids via the laying of 350 kilometres long 700-1,000 MW underwater cable across the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
Kauno Diena

New logistics centre of VP Market
The biggest retailer in the Baltics VP Market is to plough EUR 11.38 million in the construction of a new logistics centre in Latvia. The new logistics centre will be built by the end of this year. The centre is being constructed near the operating logistics centre of VP Market in Kekava, Riga region. This will be the biggest logistics centre in Latvia.
Lietuvos Zinios

BMS opens stores in Latvia
BMS, one of the biggest Lithuanian computer production and digital electronics traders, opened the first store BMS Megapolis in Riga this week. The company plans to open several additional stores on Latvia. The second store of BMS will be opened in the nearest future, while the other four or five will open their door in the neighbouring country within the two years.
Lietuvos Zinios

Friday, 25th of August

LAL expecting profit despite losses
Lietuvos Avialinijos (LAL), the largest Lithuania's carrier that was privatized last year, trimmed its interim losses by 21.2 percent, to LTL 18.5 million, from the losses of LTL 22.43 million in the first half of 2005. In June alone, the company cut its losses by 16 times, to LTL 72,000, from LTL 1.16 million in June 2005. The carrier expects to get back in black in July and aims to cut the overall losses to the minimum by the end of the year.
"We have scheduled that we will get back in black this year. The results of the first six months have proved that we are moving in the right direction," Arunas Griskenas, LAL CEO, said.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Alita’s exports surge by 65 percent
Lithuania's Alita said its alcoholic drink exports soared by 65 percent in the first seven months of this year from a year earlier to LTL 2.42 million. The strongest growth was in exports to Estonia, which, along with Latvia, is Alita's biggest export market.
"The export growth was due primarily to a successful cooperation with the VP Market retail chain and the signing of an agreement with the Latvian wholesale trade company Greis Logistika," Darius Vezelis, the company's marketing and sales director, said.
Alita launched sparkling wine exports to the US two months ago, expecting to ship more than half a million bottles of this drink annually, and plans to start exporting vodka and cider across the Atlantic in the near future.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika

Lithuania's meat imports grows by 50 percent and exports by 13 percent
Lithuania's meat imports soared by 49.3 percent, year-on-year, to 15,510 tons in the first half of 2006. Meanwhile, the exports of meat rose by 13.3 percent, to 11,060 tons in the reporting period. The imports of pork soared by 39.3 percent, to 14,130 tons, fresh and chilled beef - 21 times, to 876 tons, frozen beef - 2.4 times, to 494 tons, lamb and goat meat - 10 times, to 13 tons.
Exports of fresh and chilled beef rose by 6.8 percent, to 9,730 tons, frozen beef - 47.1 percent, to 459 tons, pork - by approximately 2.5 times, to 869 tons, lamb and goat meat - 7 times, to 6 tons.
Lithuania mostly imported meat from Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Denmark.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Thursday, 24th of August

Farm product prices up 16.6 percent in Lithuania
Agricultural product prices in Lithuania rose by 16.6 percent in July compared with the same period a year ago. The rise resulted on a 27.1 percent surge in prices of horticulture products and a 1.2 percent increase in cattle breeding prices. Compared with June, the farm products prices rose by 4.1 percent in July. In horticulture the prices increased by 9.4 percent, while in the cattle breeding the prices declined by 4.4 percent.

Mazeikiu Nafta loses positions in Latvian market
Production of Mazeikiu Nafta in the Latvian fuel market yields ground to Norwegian Statoil. The process is related solely to the growing competition but not the political aspect of blocked crude supply to Mazeikiu Nafta from Russia. Imports of Lithuanian petrol to Latvia amounted to 167.7 million tons and accounted for 50 percent of the total amount of imports in the first half of this year. Statoil imports 46.9 percent (157.5 million tons) of fuel to the neighbouring country.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

India would like to invest in IT in Lithuania
Indian businesspeople would like to invest into Lithuanian IT and hi-tech fields, Indian Ambassador Anil Wadhwa said yesterday during his visit in the Economy Ministry. He was interested in a possibility of creation of technological parks in Lithuania as well as development of hi-tech using assistance of the EU structural funds. India occupied 29th place in terms of exports to Lithuania and 35th position by imports last year. Direct investments of India came in at LTL 2.46 million in Lithuania in 2006.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios

Wednesday, 23rd of August

Lithuanian insurance market up 28 percent to LTL 783.368 million
The Lithuanian insurance market grew by 28.3 percent in the first seven months of this year from a year earlier to LTL 783.368 million. The non-life insurance market increased by 24.9 percent year-on-year to LTL 579.497 million, accounting for 74 percent of all premiums written. The life insurance market soared by 38.8 percent to LTL 203.871 million.
A total of 2.444 million insurance contracts were concluded during the seven months, up 13 percent year-on-year. The number of life insurance contracts reached 28,500, of which 20,300 were investment insurance contracts.
Insurance companies paid out a total of LTL 268.653 million in claims in the seven months, 30.1 percent more than in the same period last year. Non-life insurance claims payouts reached LTL 248.947 million, while life insurance claims payouts amounted to LTL 19.706 million.
The Lithuanian insurance market expanded by 14.1 percent to LTL 1.044 billion last year. The supervisory authority forecasts that the market will grow by 20.9 percent to LTL 1.261 billion this year.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Gubernija trims losses 7.5 percent in the first half of this year
Gubernija, the Siauliai-based brewery, trimmed its losses by 7.5 percent, to LTL 1.878 million in the first half of 2006, from LTL 2.03 million in January-June 2005. Vitas Tomkus, the publisher of Respublika daily, acquired 43.89 percent in Gubernija for LTL 15.5 million in December 2005, and has since boosted his holding to 45.08 percent.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai posts growth
The national railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai posted an 11.2 percent year-on-year rise in freight traffic to 29.3 million tons for the first seven months of this year.
International freight volumes grew by 14 percent to 21.5 million tons, while domestic freight traffic increased by 4.4 percent to 7.8 million tons.
Transit shipments rose by 19.9 percent year-on-year and accounted for 58.3 percent of the total international freight traffic.
Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 22nd of August

Sanitas sticks to targets despite loss
Lithuanian pharmaceutical producer Sanitas, which owns plants in Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia, posted consolidated net losses of LTL 3.7 million for the first seven months of this year, but said it still expects to meet its full-year net profit target of almost LTL 14 million. The group's net losses came in at LTL 9.089 million in July.
"We had forecast losses for July, following the acquisition of Poland's Jelfa and the restructuring process. Moreover, with the staff of all companies being on their summer vacations, sales were not high," Sanitas CEO Saulius Jurgelenas said.
He said that Sanitas was sticking to its full-year financial forecasts.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Snoras raises Lithuanian customers number to 0.8 million
Snoras, a Lithuanian commercial bank controlled by Russia's Konversbank, has raised the number of its Lithuanian customers by over 70,000 to 0.8 million this year. Private individuals account for over 95 percent of total bank's customers in the country.
"The number of customers grows by more than 100,000 on average over a year. So we expect to welcome our millionth customer soon," Raimondas Baranauskas, Snoras' chairman said.
Snoras reported LTL 40.669 million in audited net profit for full 2005, a threefold surge versus the revised year-earlier figure of LTL 13.345 million.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Lithuanian PM projects no political "repairs" of Kaliningrad transit railway
Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas says no "repairs" of the railway running via Lithuania would be carried out on political grounds, unless it is necessary for technical reasons.
"The repairs of the railway will take place if it is necessary. It will be carried out in the case of necessity but we plan no repairs for any political reasons," the prime minister said on Monday in sign of indirect polemics with President Valdas Adamkus.
In Kirkilas' words, volumes of Russian military transit to and from the Kaliningrad region will not be restricted.
Adamkus believes that Lithuania's Kaliningrad transit program should ensure safety of passengers and cargo, adding that railways should be repaired in case of necessity.
Lietuvos Zinios

Monday, 21st of August

Lithuanian gambling industry wins LTL 81.86 million
Gamblers lost LTL 81.86 million in Lithuanian gaming establishments in the first half of this year, up by 42.6 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 57.395 million. The six-month revenues of gaming operators increased by 43.4 percent year-on-year to LTL 373.85 million. They distributed LTL 291.99 million in winnings, 44.1 percent more than in the same period a year ago. Casinos earned LTL 62.61 million from gamblers, 38.8 percent more than a year earlier. Their revenues rose by 32.9 percent to LTL 239.98 million, while winnings distributed were up 31 percent to LTL 177.37 million.
Kauno Diena

Three more Lithuanian companies issued permits for exports to Russia
Three more Lithuanian companies - the meat processing company Rosagana, the meat bone powder storage and exports operator Odivita and the storehouse operator and food producer Plunges Kooperatyvines Prekybos Sandeliai - have been issued permits for exports of their products to Russia. A total of 88 Lithuanian companies - more than in any other European Union Member State - may export their foodstuffs to Russia.
Verslo Zinios

Revenues of Lithuania's Privatization Fund down 2.5 times
With the privatization program approaching the end, the revenues of Lithuania's Privatization Fund totalled LTL 28.441 million in the first half of 2006, a plunge of 2.5 times versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 70.861 million. The expenditures of the fund, meanwhile, rose by 5.1 percent, to LTL 38.027 million, from LTL 36.193 million in the first six months of 2005.

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