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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 41.2006

Saturday, 14th of October

FDI in Lithuania stood at LTL 23.572 billion
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Lithuania reached LTL 23.572 billion as of July 1, down 1.4 percent compared with the start of the year. FDI per capita stood at LTL 6,948. Russia accounted for the biggest share of the FDI, 21.1 percent, followed by Denmark with 15.2 percent, Sweden with 12 percent and Germany with 10.5 percent.
FDI from the EU countries totalled LTL 16.178 billion, representing 68.6 percent of the total investment, while FDI from the CIS states amounted to LTL 5.015 billion, or 21.3 percent.
Some 36.1 percent of the total FDI was in the manufacturing sector, 13.6 percent in the financial intermediation sector, 13.3 percent in transport, warehousing and telecommunications, 12.3 percent in wholesale and retail trade, and 11.8 percent in the electricity, gas and water supply sector.
According to data from the Bank of Lithuania, FDI flow in Lithuania reached LTL 1.2 billion in the first half of this year, down 25 percent from LTL 1.6 billion in the same period a year ago.
Kauno Diena, Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios

Tile maker nets LTL 20,000
Dvarcioniu Keramika, the biggest manufacturer of ceramic tiles in the Baltics, posted a net profit of LTL 20,000 in the first nine months of this year, versus a loss of LTL 2.05 million in the same period a year ago. Net profit for the third quarter of this year reached LTL 1.1 million.
"Although we failed to make a profit in the first and second quarters, our efforts brought the expected results in the third quarter. That helped us to cover our first-half losses and post a net profit," the company said in a statement.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lithuanian investment abroad soars to LTL 2.953 billion
Foreign direct investment by Lithuanian companies totalled LTL 2.953 billion as of July 1, soaring by 40.7 percent compared with the start of the year. The largest share of the direct investment was in Latvia, 34.8 percent. Investment in Russia made up 13.2 percent of the total investment, with the Kaliningrad region accounting for 8.1 percent, while investment in Ukraine represented 9.87 percent.
Some 28.8 percent of the total investment was in wholesale and retail trade, 22.9 percent in the manufacturing industry, 19.8 percent in real estate, lease and other business activities, and 16 percent in financial intermediation.
Within the manufacturing sector, 48.7 percent of the total direct investment was in chemical product manufacturing, 19.8 percent in foodstuff, beverage and tobacco manufacturing, and 18.5 percent in machine and equipment manufacturing.
Lietuvos Zinios

Friday, 13th of October

Productivity grows 3.4 percent in Lithuania over 2005
The productivity of Lithuania's labour force increased by 3.4 percent in 2005 compared to 2004, more than a year before when the growth rate was 2.6 percent, but much lower than in 2001-2003, when it ranged from 5.7 percent to 9.9 percent. The gross value added (GVA) per hour worked reached LTL 35.92 last year, a rise of 9.3 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 32.85.
Lietuvos Rytas

Baltic IT market set to surge 53 percent in 2006
Baltic information technologies (IT) market will surge by 53 percent over 2006.
The market, valued at USD 850 million in 2005, would soar to USD 1.3 billion this year. The hardware and software sales in Lithuania as well as Latvia and Estonia (31 percent in each) will account for the biggest share (38 percent) in the Baltics IT market this year, the global IT company Hewlett-Packard forecasts.
Lietuvos Rytas

Milk purchase price rises 3 percent in January-September
Natural milk purchases from farmers in Lithuania reached 974,500 tons in the first nine months of this year, up 6 percent from 919,300 tons a year earlier. In September solely, milk purchases amounted to 142.250 tons, a rise of 7 percent since September 2005. The average natural milk purchase price rose by 2.9 percent to LTL 681 per ton.
According to data from the Lithuanian Statistics Department, the country imported 71,500 tons of raw milk in the first eight months of this year, mostly from Latvia.
Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 12th of October

Lithuania's average annual HICP inflation at 3.5 percent
Lithuania's average annual inflation rate, as measured by the EU Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), stood at 3.5 percent in September. Consumer prices contracted by 0.1 percent in September from August. The 12-month inflation rate, compared with September 2005, was 3.3 percent.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

Russia's Gazprom set to raise gas price for Lithuania
Russia's gas giant Gazprom is expected to decide within three weeks on a natural gas price for Lithuania starting next year. The price will almost certainly increase and will reach in 2008 the price that western European countries pay.
Gazprom's deputy chairman, Alexander Ryazanov, said added that "2007 will be the last transitional year" for Gazprom to bring the price of gas supplied to Lithuania to western European price levels.
Ryazanov met with Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas and Economy Minister Vytas Navickas in Vilnius on Wednesday.
The Gazprom official said that the average price for gas supplied to Germany is currently around USD 280 per 1,000 m3, while Lithuania pays USD 147-150.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios

DnB Nord boosts January-September profit
DnB Nord Bankas, the third-largest Lithuanian bank by assets, said its net profit for the first nine months of this year soared by 66 percent to LTL 50.01 million, from LTL 30.1 million a year earlier.
"The bank's assets and loan portfolio growth outpaces market growth this year and we are pleased with trends in all major business segments," DnB Nord Bankas President and Chairman Werner Schilli said in a statement.
"Over the past 12-month period, in terms of high quality of products and services and competitive pricing, we matched and in some elements outperformed our key competitors at the same time delivering reasonable profit to our shareholders," he said.
Year-on-year, operating revenue for January-September grew by 39.6 percent to LTL 152.51 million. Net interest income was up 48.9 percent to LTL 110.51 million at the end of September.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Wednesday, 11th of October

Minimum salary in Lithuania may rise to LTL 700
The Lithuanian government is in talks with its social partners on raising the minimum monthly salary from the current LTL 600 to LTL 700. Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said this in an interview on Thursday.
Social Security and Labor Minister Vilija Blinkeviciute said that the government would approve of increasing the minimum salary to LTL 700 from July or October next year.
Blinkeviciute added that the proposed increase of LTL 100 would be significant for people, noting that minimum salary earners make up about 15-18 percent of the country's working population. The minimum monthly salary went up by LTL 50 to LTL 600 on July 1 this year.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas.

Skoda's unit to build 1st double-deck train for Lithuania
Lithuania's first double-deck electric train, to be built by CKD Vagonka, a unit of the Czech car manufacturer Skoda, is expected to arrive in the second quarter of 2008. A second one should be delivered two months later.
The state railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai will operate the double-deckers on the route between the country's two largest cities, Vilnius and Kaunas. The trip will take less than an hour.
Albertas Simenas, expansion director at Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai, said that they are currently negotiating with CKD Vagonka over the price of the trains. He added that the price would not be lower than LTL 20 million per unit.
It is expected that Skoda's unit will initially build three-car trains with a capacity of up to 500 passengers each.
Lietuvos Rytas, Kauno Diena

SEB Vilniaus Bankas doubles net profit
SEB Vilniaus Bankas, the largest Lithuanian bank by assets, posted a net profit of LTL 207 million for the first nine months of this year, up from LTL 97.4 million a year earlier.
Consolidated net profits of the SEB Vilniaus Bankas Group for January-September reached LTL 207.6 million, up from LTL 199.8 million in the same period last year. The group's annual net profits rose by 27.1 percent last year to LTL 149.1 million.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika

Tuesday, 10th of October

Hansabankas introduces first Lithuania's cash deposit machine
The first cash deposit machine in Lithuania has been switched on in Vilnius on Monday. The cash deposit machine enabling bank customers to deposit cash and carry out other transactions has been installed by Hansabankas, a member of leading Baltic and Nordic finance institution Swedbank.
"The machine will enable a small commercial company to deposit all daily cash revenues on trading operations into its account with the bank. Other private customers who receive income in cash or wish to deposit cash into their accounts for other reasons may use the machine as well," Mantas Rimkus, director of payment cards department with Hansabankas, said.
The first cash deposit machine, which accepts all types of litas banknotes with denomination ranging from LTL 20 to LTL 200 issued from 1993, has been installed at the Juustiniskes customer service unit of Hansabankas.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Excise duty on cigarettes seen rising 30 percent from March
Lithuania's government proposes to raise the excise duty on cigarettes by 30 percent on March 1, which would translate into an approximately 14 percent increase in the prices of most popular cigarette brands. The Cabinet backed the bill amending the Law on Excise Duties on Monday.
The bill has been worked out considering Lithuania's commitment to raise the excise duty on cigarettes gradually till December 31, 2009, so as to achieve the minimum EU rate and avoid any sharp surge in the prices of cigarettes. The excise duty would be raised gradually each year till 2010.
With the bill passed, the state budget would count some LTL 20 million in additional revenues in 2007. Revenues on excise duties should reach LTL 2.624 billion next year, a rise of 17.6 percent versus 2006, and comprise some 13.8 percent of total national budget revenues.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Vilniaus Vingis down by almost one-third in nine months
Vilniaus Vingis, embattled Lithuania's TV deflection yoke manufacturer, posted LTL 41.55 million in sales for the first nine months of 2006, a plunge of 31.6 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 60.72 million.
According to Darius Oziunas, finance director of Vilniaus Vingis, it is not correct to compare this year’s results with last year because the calculation have been made without the sold subsidiaries this year.
“I think that is not a bad result keeping in mind that the income came only from the rent and deflection yokes,” Oziunas said.
Verslo Zinios

Monday, 9th of October

Tez Tour sales surge in Lithuania 61 percent
Tez Tour, an international tour operator, and Travelman, its subsidiary, posted sales of LTL 62.2 million in Lithuania for the nine eight months of this year, a rise of 60.7 percent from the year earlier figure of LTL 38.7 million. The number of travellers who chose Tez Tour and Travelman travel packages in the reporting period surged by 70 percent year-on-year to almost 34,000.
In summer season the major part of company's customers, over 15,000, a rise of 15.4 percent year-on-year, chose holidays in Turkey.
Lietuvos Zinios

Eurofarmacijos Vaistines raises sales 34 percent in January-September
Eurofarmacijos Vaistines, the operator of Lithuania's biggest chain of pharmacies Eurovaistines, raised the sales in the Baltic countries by 34 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 401 million in the first nine months of 2006, exceeding the full 2005 figure. The sales rose as the number of buyers was growing steadily, Eurofarmacijos Vaistines' chairman Ignas Staskevicius said in a statement. Moreover, the opening of 16 new pharmacies, reorganization and expansion of certain existing pharmacies also contributed to the sales growth.
The chain aims to open 30 new pharmacies and invest LTL 18 million in the Baltic countries this year.
Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios

Finns to invest in Lithuanian bioethanol plant
Finland's Future Oil and its Lithuanian subsidiary, Bioetan, are investing EUR 60 million in a new bioethanol plant in Telsiai, in northwestern Lithuania. It is planned that the plant, which will produce bioethanol from triticale, will employ about 100 people. It is expected that the budget of Telsiai municipality will receive LTL 4-5 million annual income after the construction of the facility.
Lietuvos Zinios

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