Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 37.2006

Saturday, 16th of September

Average inflation rate above Maastricht criterion
Lithuania's average 12-month inflation as measured by the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) made up 3.4 percent in August, once again coming above the reference rate, which according to the data published by the European Union (EU) statistics arm Eurostat, totalled 2.8 percent last month.
The annual inflation as measured by HICP stood at 4.3 percent in Lithuania in August.
Kauno Diena

LTL 128 million to be channelled to pension funds
The Lithuanian State Social Insurance Fund Board (Sodra) said it would channel LTL 127.6 million into second-pillar pension funds on Friday, some LTL 6.4 million more than it transferred in June.
The money represents contributions by 685,000 people who chose to join private pension plans in 2003 through 2005. Based on July's data, another 97,000 people have joined this year.
Kauno Diena

Statoil aims at product terminal
Lietuva Statoil, the second-largest Lithuania's gasoline retailer, has applied to the Competition Council over the purchase of Vilnius-based petroleum products terminal run by the local company Okseta. The capacities of the terminal make up approximately 8,000 tons.
"We have concluded a preliminary agreement on the purchase of terminal with Okseta. We hope that the deal will be finalized by the end of the year. We have had no terminal of our own until now," said Skirmantas Maciukas, director of sales and supply department with Lietuva Statoil. He would not disclose the financial details of the deal.
Lietuvos Zinios

Friday, 15th of September

Investment subsidiary of Snoras
Snoras, a Lithuanian bank controlled by Russia's Konversbank, has established a subsidiary company licensed to manage investment funds and investment companies with variable capital, and advise on investment matters.
The Lithuanian Securities Commission on Thursday issued a license to Snoro Fondu Valdymas (Snoras Fund Management) and gave the green light for the appointment of Oleg Poluden as chairman of the company's management board.
The Securities Commission also ratified regulations and prospects of Snoro Pasaulio Akciju Fondu Fondas (Snoras Fund of World Stock Funds) and Snoro Subalansuotu Fondu Fondas (Snoras Fund of Balanced Funds). Both investment funds are targeted at people with little or no investment experience.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Government pledges not to hinder euro introduction
Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said on Thursday that his government would not unbalance Lithuania's financial system by making populist decisions that could jeopardize the country's chances of joining the eurozone.
Speaking at the parliament, Kirkilas said that he expected parliamentary parties to sign an agreement on fiscal discipline.
However, the Social Democratic premier acknowledged that controlling inflation would not be easy.
Lithuania planned to introduce the euro at the beginning of 2007, but was refused entry on the grounds that its inflation rate was above the Maastricht target.
Kauno Diena

DFDS reports profit and revenue growth
DFDS Transport, the leading transport and logistics company in Lithuania, reported revenues of LTL 38.6 million for the first six months of this year, a rise of 30 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 29.6 million. Operating profit grew by 16 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 2.1 million, DFDS Transport reported.
“Despite the harsh competition on the market, the growth rate of our sales was in line with the expansion of Lithuania's imports and exports. Moreover, the company managed to boost profit despite the rise in fuel costs. The results are excellent as they have exceeded our initial expectations," said Kim Bartholdy, DFDS Transport CEO.
Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 14th of September

Peculiarities of Lithuanian consumers
A sociological poll carried out by Not Perfect / Y&R advertising agency in July revealed that majority of Lithuanian consumers – 23.6 percent – have no exclusive wishes and choose the brands that have consolidated their market positions long ago.
17.6 percent of consumers are the so-called reformers who choose goods based on their personal opinion.
The advanced consumers who usually have good jobs and value prestige constitute 14.8 percent of all the consumers. 11.9 percent of the polled purchase goods based on visual and physical efficiency of the product.
Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios

Axis Industries will be representing AUMA in Lithuania
Axis Industries, the biggest company implementing industry and energy projects in Lithuania, will be representing the global electronic gear production leader AUMA. The German AUMA has chosen Axis Industries as a partner due to successful usage of company’s products in the projects implemented by the Lithuanian company.
Having become a representative of AUMA, Axis Industries will not only install the company’s production in its objects but will also sell it to other companies.

Aggregate sales of Lithuania’s dairy companies increase
The aggregate sales of Lithuania's dairy companies rose by 9 percent or LTL 131 million, year-on-year, to reach LTL 1.617 billion (ex VAT and excise duties) in 2005, SEB Vilniaus Bankas said in the latest review.
Revenues on exports totalled LTL 860 million or 53 percent of total sales, with the rest coming from sales on the domestic market.
The key export markets for dairy products made in Lithuania include Italy and Russia.
The analysts of SEB Vilniaus Bankas have noted a steady increase in the volumes and value of milk product exports in recent years.
The list of largest Lithuania's dairy companies by revenues was topped by Rokiskio Suris, which raised the sales by 4.8 percent, to LTL 473.3 million last year.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 13th of September

Bank analysts criticize Government because of inflation and plans for euro
Analysts of SEB Vilniaus Bankas are sceptical about the prospects to reduce inflation and introduce euro in Lithuania in 2010 because, in their opinion, the words and acts of the Government differ radically.
According to bank’s analysts, the coming half-year will be the time of crisis for the Lithuanian economy: prices will rise immensely because of the huge inflation leap. They forecast that unless the Government attempts to reduce inflation, its rate will reach 3.8 percent this year and next year it will grow to 4 percent.
Analysts criticise the Government’s casual attitude towards euro and claim that the year 2010 is an inappropriate date for euro introduction. In their opinion, it would be better to introduce euro in 2009 because of the closure of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.
Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika, Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Growth of beer market
In 8 months of this year, the Lithuanian beer market increased by 6.9 percent to 18.876 million decalitres. The beer export shrank by 12.5 percent, to 914 thousand decalitres over the given period, the Lithuanian Brewers’ Association reported.
Breweries united by the Association sell 95 percent of all beer sold in Lithuania. In August, they sold 2.793 million decalitres of beer in the domestic market, a 1.2 percent rise year-on-year.
Svyturys-Utenos Alus retained the leading position in the market having boosted its 6-month sales by 7.4 percent, to 9.183 million decalitres. The company controls 48.6 percent of the beer market in Lithuania.

EU support for rural development
Lithuania is to receive EUR 1.743 billion in EU funds for rural development in the years 2007-2013. Some EUR 260.98 million of the support money should come next year.
The European Commission took the decision on the annual rural development budget on Tuesday, the EC Representation in Lithuania said.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 12th of September

Mazeikiu Nafta increases crude processing volume
Despite the halt of crude supply by pipeline late in July, Mazeikiu Nafta (Mazeikiai Oil), the sole Baltic oil refining and transportation complex, raised the processing of crude and other feedstock by 3.5 percent, to 6.093 million tons in the first eight months of 2006, up from 5.888 million tons in January-August 2005.
Mazeikiu Nafta aims to refine 8.66 million tons of crude this year and projects LTL 507.8 million net profit for 2006 as well as LTL 11.4 billion income.
Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios

Informacines Technologijos gets LTL 5 million worth order
The IT service provider Informacines Technologijos (Information Technologies) will implement an order of the National Payment Agency worth more than LTL 5 million. The company will upgrade an information rural development tools administration system following the new rural development plan for 2007-2013.
Audrius Krikstaponis, head of the Information System Creation Department at Informacines Technologijos, claims that the new project of the Lithuanian rural development fund program includes big support administration changes because two new EU fund administration funds have been established: The European agricultural fund for rural development and the European agricultural guarantee fund.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Rimi Baltic announces sales figures
Rimi Baltic, a joint venture between Finland's Kesko and Sweden's ICA, said its Lithuanian sales for the first eight months of this year surged by 43.4 percent from a year earlier to EUR 121.5 million.
The retail chain's sales in all three Baltic countries totalled EUR 617.7 million in January-August, a rise of 19.2 percent year-on-year.
Rimi Baltic posted a 6.4 percent growth to EUR 138.15 million in annual sales in Lithuania last year. Total sales in the Baltic countries rose by 18.4 percent to EUR 806.74 million.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Monday, 11th of September

Rimi Lietuva is to take over a competitor
The expanding trade chain UAB Rimi Lietuva plans to surprise the market by acquiring a competitor’s trade chain, however, the biggest traders of the country deny having had negotiations with UAB Rimi Lietuva. Consequently, it is possible that Rimi will take over a smaller regional trade chain.
Last year Rimi Lietuva owned 30 trade centres, at the moment it has 47 trade centres. The company plans to open three more trade centres this month. By the end of the year a new central warehouse in Elektrenai will be built, it will eat up LTL 70 million investments.
Verslo Zinios

Snoras posts profit
Snoras, a Lithuanian commercial bank controlled by Russia's Konversbank, posted LTL 31.895 million in unaudited net profit for the first eight months of 2006, a rise of 17.2 percent versus the year-earlier figure.
In August alone the net profit made up LTL 6.7 million.
"The record high unaudited monthly profit in August was the result of business expansion, the continuous growth of our customer numbers and loan portfolio, successful management of securities portfolio and favourable market trends, without any doubt," said Naglis Stancikas, Snoras first vice-president and director of financial management department.
The bank focuses on retail banking as natural persons comprise over 95 percent of its total customer number, which exceeds 800,000.
Lietuvos Zinios

Rokiskio Suris will not renounce export to Russia
Rokiskio Suris (Rokiskis Cheese or RS), the largest Lithuania's milk processing company, will not pull out from Russia despite the rising costs of exports to that market.
Russia imposed additional controls for the imports of Lithuania-made dairy products in August. The new measures would cost some LTL 1.5 million per year on average for major Lithuanian milk processing companies, and about LTL 0.5 million for RS alone.
According to RS estimations, with the duties hiked, the price of company's cheese should rise by 7-10 euro cents per kilo in Russia.
RS posted LTL 4.67 million net profit for the first half of this year, a 25.6 percent slump since the relevant period last year. Company’s revenues increased by 13.5 percent, from LTL 210 million to LTL 238.3 million over the given period.
Lietuvos Zinios

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