||Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-
Saturday, 20th of January
Sales of Lifosa surge
Phosphate fertilizer manufacturer Lifosa posted LTL 682.415 million in sales for full 2006, a rise of 13.1 percent from the year-earlier figure and 4.8 percent above the forecasts. In December alone, the sales expanded by 40.9 percent, to LTL 65.279 million, from LTL 46.344 million in December 2005.
Sales of diammonium phosphate, the company's key product, grew by 17.8 percent, to 55,800 tons last month.
Jonas Dastikas, Lifosa CEO, earlier admitted that the company exceeded the projected performance figures last year.
Textile producer curtails losses
Textile producer Alytaus Tekstile incurred a loss of one million litas over the nine months of 2006, 6.5 times less since the same period in 2005. This year the company forecasts the loss to stand at LTL 4.3 million.
Kauno Baldai boosts sales
Furniture manufacturer Kauno Baldai, controlled by SBA Baldai, said its sales soared by 32 percent last year to reach an all-time high of LTL 54.86 million. The company anticipates a 10 percent increase in sales this year.
Friday, 19th of January
Sampo bank raises stock capital
AB Sampo bank has raised the stock capital by LTL 70 million, to LTL 304,908 million. Sampo Bank Plc (Finland), the single owner of Sampo bank, has redeemed 700,000 stocks, with the nominal value of LTL 100. The stock capital of the bank is raised in order to retain the rapid growth of Sampo in Lithuania.
Discussions over gas
The Lithuanian parliament on Thursday failed to pass a draft Law on Natural Gas, the adoption of which has been dragging on for three years now. Parliamentarians were eager to regulate prices of gas sold by Dujotekana, however, the Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas warned that thus Lithuania would give an argument to Gazprom to violate the contract and raise natural gas prices for Lithuania at a more rapid rate than agreed earlier.
Verslo Zinios, Kauno Diena, Respublika
EU will not allow Lithuania to extend operation of nuclear power plant
The European Union will not allow Lithuania to extend the operation of its Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) beyond the scheduled shutdown date in 2009, an EU energy spokesman said.
"They have to close the plant by the agreed date," Ferran Tarradellas Espuny, spokesman for the EU energy commissioner, was quoted as saying by the news agency Bloomberg.
Lithuania's new energy strategy, which is currently being debated by the parliament, requires that the government should seek an extension of the plant's operation.
However, Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said on Thursday that "one must be a great optimist" to expect that the European Commission could allow delaying the closure of the plant.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika
Thursday, 18th of January
EUR 0.34 billion in EU, state aid paid out in Lithuania
A total of LTL 1.17 billion of EU and state budget funds were paid out in Lithuania under EU-supported projects in the years 2004 through 2006, with the total number of such projects reaching 339. The number of contracts signed under national support programs reached 298 at the end of 2006, with the total amount of financing at LTL 21.1 million, the Lithuanian Business Support Agency reported.
The agency received a total of 1,210 applications for LTL 3.673 billion in EU funding in the reporting period, more that three times the amount earmarked for support (over LTL 1.1 billion).
The largest amount of funding, LTL 45 million, went to a new chipboard factory of Giriu Bizonas, LTL 28.8 million to a water amusement park in the spa resort of Druskininkai and LTL 26.7 million to a new SBA furniture plant in Visaginas. Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios
Akmenes Cementas boosts revenues
Cement manufacturer Akmenes Cementas reported LTL 188.04 million in revenue for the full year 2006, a rise of 57 percent from LTL 119.43 million the previous year. Cement sales jumped by 27 percent last year, to 1.06 million tons from 832,400 tons.
"The increase in sales is largely attributable to the growth of the construction sector and a sharp rise in domestic sales due to the warm weather. That is why we have started to cut exports to almost all countries," Akmenes Cementas CEO Arturas Zaremba said.
The company's cement sales in Lithuania soared by 49 percent to 806,870 tons last year. Akmenes Cementas expects to increase cement production by around five percent this year and targets a rise of between 10 percent and 15 percent in sales.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios
Stumbras raises profit
Alcoholic beverage producer Stumbras said its annual pretax profit rose by 18 percent last year to LTL 24.8 million as sales jumped by 15 percent to LTL 114.43 million.
This year exports of Stumbras grew significantly, Ceslovas Matulevicius, CEO of Stumbras, says.
Exports of the company increased by 73 percent to LTL 6.9 million in 2006, year-on-year. The main exports markets of Stumbras are Latvia, Estonia and Poland.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika
Wednesday, 17th of January
Lithuania ranked 22nd freest economy in the world
Lithuania is ranked 22nd out of 161 countries in the world and is the 14th freest economy among 41 European countries, according to the latest Index of Economic Freedom released by the US-based research institute Heritage Foundation. Lithuania moved one place higher among the world's countries this year compared with last year's ranking.
With an overall economic freedom score of 72 percent, Lithuania remained in the group of "mostly free" countries this year.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios
Mazeikiu Nafta could be delisted from Vilnius bourse
Poland's PKN Orlen does not rule out delisting shares in the Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta from the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE).
"It is possible that we will want to delist Mazeikiu Nafta, but no decisions have yet been made. It is hard to say when decisions could be taken," Dawid Piekarz, a PKN Orlen spokesman, said.
PKN Orlen bought 84.4 percent of Mazeikiu Nafta last month and increased its shareholding to 89.26 percent through a tender offer that closed on Monday.
Medicine Business Academy boost turnover by one third
Company Medicine Business Academy, which provides specialized services of medical personnel selection, professional training, leasing and placement, posted a turnover of LTL 1.22 million last year, a 30 percent rise since 2005 when it stood at LTL 940,000. The company attributes the growth of income to the increasing interest of pharmaceutical companies in personnel lease service. Medicine Business Academy renders personnel lease and training services to GlaxoSmithKline, Walmark, Astra Zeneca, Gedeon Richter, Eli-Lilly, Oriola, Orivas, Sandoz, Sirova, Valentis and others. Medicine Business Academy Group operates in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Tuesday, 16th of January
Cinema attendance soars 97.6 percent
Cinema attendance in Lithuania soared by 97.6 percent last year compared with 2005 to 2.4 million visits. Total box office revenues surged by 95 percent to LTL 25.3 million.
The animated film Ice Age 2: The Meltdown was most successful at the box office last year, grossing LTL 1.64 million. That was more than double the box-office revenue from the 2005 top earner, Dievu Miskas (Forest of the Gods). Other films that grossed over a million litas at the box office last year included Open Season with LTL 146 million, Borat with LTL 1.28 million and the Da Vinci Code with LTL 1.27 million.
Cinema attendance is forecast to grow by 30-40 percent this year.
Lietuvos Rytas, Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika
Swedish fashion chain Lidex set to enter Lithuanian market
The Swedish-based fashion chain Lindex is gearing up to enter the Lithuanian clothing retail market. The company is looking for a director and a designer for its first Lithuanian store, which is planned to open for business in Vilnius next spring.
With around 350 stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, Estonia and Latvia, Lindex is one of the largest fashion chains in Northern Europe. The chain employs a workforce of around 5,000 people.
Money in circulation up 19.4 percent in 2006
Currency in circulation in Lithuania rose by 14.9 percent in December from a year earlier to reach LTL 8 billion. Currency in circulation increased by LTL 532.1 million in December compared with November. Month-on-month, residents' deposits with the Bank of Lithuania grew by LTL 426.3 million to LTL 6 billion. Central government deposits went up by LTL 419 million to reach LTL 3.4 billion at the end of the month. Verslo Zinios, Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas
Monday, 15th of January
Illegal workforce at Euroset Lit
Lithuania's Labour Inspection will investigate reports about illegal workforce regularly used by Euroset Lit, the Russian-equity company that has recently launched aggressive expansion in Lithuania. Inspectors believe that the company is one of the first signs of inflow of illegal immigrants expected in the nearest future.
Euroset Lit, which kicked off trade in mobile phones and accessories in Lithuania some three months ago, has already opened over 30 retail outlets, some of which employ Russia's citizens who have been working without due permits.
The executive manager of Euroset Lit Lithuania's representative office refused to comment.
Investments in green field infrastructure
Panevezys district is ready to allocate LTL 15 million to lure businesspeople. The establishment of green field infrastructure for business near Ramygala will cost such amount of money. The aim of the project Establishment of Green Field Infrastructure in Panevezys Region is to attract investments and boost the business level in the region. The project also seeks to encourage creation, expansion and competitiveness of companies as well as form more favourable conditions to lure private investments to the region.
The value added created by tourism amounted to LTL 1.698 billion in 2005, or 2.6 percent of the total value added. Production of tourism activities accounted for LTL 2.874 billion. The number of employees of the tourism sector amounted to 36.5 thousand, or 3.4 percent of all working people of the country in 2005.
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