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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 40.2006

Saturday, 7th of October

Lithuanian beer market grows
The Lithuanian beer market grew by 5.6 percent to 210.24 million litres in the first nine months of this year from a year earlier. In September beer sales fell by 4.2 percent year-on-year to 21.48 million litres. Svyturys-Utenos Alus posted a 6.1 percent growth in beer sales for January-September to 101.99 million litres. Its market share widened to 48.51 percent. Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe raised its market share to 25.2 percent from 23.91 percent, as beer sales for the nine months jumped by 11.4 percent to 52.99 million litres. Ragutis achieved a 5.7 percent rise in beer sales to 22.6 million litres and held a 10.75 percent market share.
Lithuanian breweries exported 9.96 million litres of beer in the first nine months of this year, a decline of 15.6 percent from the same period a year ago. Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe remained the number one beer exporter, with its beer exports for January-September soaring by 30.5 percent to 4.24 million litres.

VLG to build 2 ferries for Norwegian shipyard
Lithuania's Vakaru Laivu Gamykla (VLG), which is controlled by Estonia's BLRT Grupp, last week signed an 8.6-million-euro contract to build two ferries for the Norwegian shipyard Fiskerstrand. VLG said the ferries, each taking up to 350 passengers and 120 cars, are to be built by the end of next year. The ferries will be constructed within 2007.
Lietuvos Rytas

Mazeikiu Nafta to launch new oil product terminal in late October
Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta is completing the construction of a new oil product terminal, which will service the needs of the northern and western parts of the country. Mazeikiu Nafta said the terminal in Juodeikiai, where the crude refinery is located, would start operating in late October.
Mazeikiu Nafta spokesman Giedrius Karsokas did not disclose what the capacity of the terminal was and how much the company had invested in the project.
Poland's PKN Orlen, which is buying Mazeikiu Nafta, wants to build new oil tanks at the refinery and expand the crude export/import terminal in Butinge after the acquisition of Mazeikiu Nafta.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 6th of October

Lithuanian unemployment unchanged at 3.3 percent in September
Lithuania's unemployment rate remained unchanged in September, at 3.3 percent, same as in August. The number of officially registered unemployed people was 69,300 as of October 1, same as month before. The number of unemployed remained almost unchanged over the month. Compared with September 2005, the number of officially registered unemployed people shrank by 19 percent or 16,200. Among major cities, the unemployment level ranged from 2.2 percent in Siauliai to 5.7 percent in Panevezys.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

VP Market boost profit to LTL 94.83 million
VP Market, the largest retailer in the Baltics, posted a 5.9 percent growth in annual net profits to LTL 94.83 million in 2005. VP Market's assets totalled LTL 1.709 billion at the end of last year, down 7.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the company's 2005 annual report. Long-term assets fell by 0.05 percent year-on-year to LTL 1.298 billion. The company's consolidated sales rose by 4.7 percent to LTL 5.188 billion last year. VP Market, which is controlled by Vilniaus Prekyba, operates stores in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios

Rokiskio Suris raises sales
Rokiskio Suris, the leading Lithuania's dairy company, reported LTL 377.314 million in sales for the first nine months of 2006, a rise of 13.5 percent versus the year-earlier figure. In September alone, the sales of the company rose by 8.9 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 49.241 million.
Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 5th of October

Lithuania's draft 2007 budget targets 14 percent revenue growth
Lithuania's national budget revenues, including EU assistance funds, will reach LTL 22.082 billion next year, 14.4 percent higher than this year's revenue target, according to a draft budget proposed by the Finance Ministry. Excluding EU funds, national budget revenues are projected at LTL 18.996 billion next year. Budget appropriations should increase by 11.8 percent compared with this year to LTL 23.523 billion.
"Next year's budget revenues that we plan to receive due to economic growth will be used to fulfill the commitments taken on by the government and the Seimas (parliament) in 2005 and 2006, mostly in the social, health and education areas," Finance Minister Zigmantas Balcytis said.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

DnB Nord bank raises full-year net profit forecasts
The board of DnB Nord, the third largest Lithuania's commercial bank by assets, has raised the full-year net profit forecasts to LTL 55 million on the back of better-than-expected eight month performance figures. Previously the bank projected that its full-year net profit would be similar to last year figure of LTL 43.04 million. In 2005 the bank's net profit soared by 2.2 times, from LTL 19.395 million a year earlier.
DnB Nord posted LTL 38.2 million in unaudited net profit for the first half of 2006, a surge of 83.4 percent versus the year-earlier figure.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika

New name in Lithuanian cosmetic market
Baltic Cosmetic Holding (BCH), the biggest Baltic group of cosmetic and perfumery stores and beauty service companies, will change the name of the beauty service chain in Lithuania Femina Bona into Sarma Style. BCH also controls cosmetic and perfumery chain Sarma in Lithuania. The company has already invested LTL 300,000 in the new name. Six outlets in Vilnius, Kaunas and Druskininkai have been renamed.
Ieva Plaude, board chairwoman of BCH, says that the Lithuanian market has potential; therefore, the company plans active expansion there and intends to plough EUR 1.62 million in 2007.
Lietuvos Zinios

Wednesday, 4th of October

Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai suffers losses
The national railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai suffered LTL 53.3 million losses on passenger conveyance in the first half of 2006. The state aims to allocate some LTL 5 million to cover the losses this year, a rise of approximately 61 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 3.1 million.
Earlier this year the government relieved the railway operator from the payment of dividends, while Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai transferred some LTL 29 million from last year profit to cover the losses on passenger conveyance.
The railway company paid no dividends last year, and channelled almost LTL 26 million from 2004 profit to cover the passenger conveyance losses.
Lietuvos Zinios

Consumption of petroleum products up by one-tenth in Lithuania
The consumption of petroleum products made by Mazeikiu Nafta rose by 10.4 percent, year-on-year, to 1.317 million tons on domestic market in the first half of 2006. The consumption of gasoline rose by 3.3 percent, to 170,100 tons, diesel fuel - 18.5 percent, to 440,300 tons, and liquefied petroleum gas - by 16 percent, to 166,000 tons. Mazeikiu Nafta, the sole Baltic oil refining and transportation complex, held 91 percent of Lithuania's petroleum products market in January-June.
Lietuvos Zinios

Baltika Lietuva chain lifts sales to LTL 31.17 million
Baltika Lietuva said total sales of its retail clothing chains Baltman, Monton and Mosaic surged by 36 percent in the first nine months of this year from a year earlier to reach LTL 31.17 million. Sales for September alone soared by 35 percent from a year earlier to LTL 3.81 million.
"Stable growth of the clothing market and revenues is inseparable from rising living standards. An increasing number of people in Lithuania are able to redistribute their family budgets and increase the share of expenses related to style and image," Baltika Lietuva Director Daina Daubare said.
Annual sales of the Baltika-owned chains in Lithuania are forecast to reach over LTL 40 million this year.
Baltika Lietuva is part of Baltika Group, which has 100 retail stores in the three Baltic countries, Poland, Ukraine and Russia. The group's consolidated sales for the nine months of this year rose by 26 percent year-on-year to LTL 136.38 million.
Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 3rd of October

New car registrations up 39 percent to 13,500
A total of 13,500 new cars were registered in Lithuania in the first nine months of this year, a rise of 39 percent from a year earlier. In September, new car registrations surged by 44 percent year-on-year to 1,500. Some 1,170 of the registered new cars were for personal use, up 47 percent, and 329 were for commercial use, up 35 percent. The most popular cars in terms of new registrations last month were Volkswagen, Mitsubishi and Skoda. Among vehicles registered for commercial use last month, the top three models were Skoda Octavia, Gaz 2705/3302 and Ford Transit.
Verslo Zinios

IKEA lingering to place new orders for chair manufacturing in Lithuania
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA still lingers to place new orders for the manufacturing of chairs in Lithuania although domestic chair makers completed the last orders of IKEA in summer. The Swedish concern has shifted the chair orders to China, which offers lower prices of furniture manufacturing.
"We completed the last order of IKEA late in August. Although we still receive enquiries about the production of new models, that company has not placed any orders so far," says Sarunas Norvaisas, trade director of Venta, part of Libra Group. "According to our data, IKEA has shifted the lion's share of chair production to China," he adds.
The orders of IKEA declined to some 15 percent of total turnover of Libra Group late in 2005, from some 40 percent three years ago.
Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios

Crude terminal in Butinge resumes operations
The Butinge terminal, a part of Lithuania's oil concern Mazeikiu Nafta, has resumed operations on Monday after an almost fortnight's break. The unloading of tanker Sparto, which delivered some 100,000 tons of Russia's Urals crude, was launched at approximately 10 a.m.
The Mazeikiai refinery had sufficient inventories although it operated at reduced capacities, said Giedrius Karsokas, Mazeikiu Nafta's communications director.
The maximum refining capacities of Mazeikiu Nafta reach 27,000 tons per day.
The Butinge terminal, meanwhile, has completed the replacement of single point mooring (SPM) buoy, which was performed in compliance with requirements of SOFEC, the designer and manufacturer of SPM.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Zinios

Monday, 2nd of October

Lithuania launches new tender for wind power plants
Lithuania's state-run power transmission company, Lietuvos Energija, announced on Friday one more public tender to construct wind power plants and connect them to a 110-kilovolt (kV) electricity transmission network. The winning bidder will be able to build wind power plans anywhere in the country, except those locations where tenders for wind power stations have already been held. The submitted bids will be opened on December 1 and the winner will be named by December 21.
"This is the last of the planned tenders for the construction of wind power plants by 2010. We expect that the winners of all the tenders will fulfil their commitments to build wind power plants and thus increase the production of green energy in Lithuania," said Vladas Paskevicius, the energy system director at Lietuvos Energija and chairman of the tender commission.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Achema to close its casino in Vilnius
Casino Planet, the gambling operator controlled by Achema Group, aims to close one of its two casinos in Lithuania. The State Gambling Supervisory Commission gave its permission to the company to close the casino at Basanavicius Street, which, according to the data available to the commission, was the first in Vilnius.
"Perhaps the company has estimated that the costs of this casino were too significant," said Ceslovas Blazys, chairman of the commission.
Gamblers lost LTL 81.86 in Lithuanian gaming establishments in the first half of this year, up by 42.6 percent from the last year.
Verslo Zinios

The number of local tourists trips with at least one overnight stay grew 8.1 percent in Lithuania over the six months of this year. Meanwhile the number of one-day trips surged 3.2 percent during the period of the January-to-June 2006, compared to the previous year.

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