||Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-
Saturday, 16th of February
Lietuvos Pastas appoints new CEO
Ernerstas Vaidelys, financial director of Lietuvos Pastas, has been promoted to the post of managing director of the state postal company. Lietuvos Pastas' management board appointed Vaidelys, 37, as the new CEO of the company on Thursday. Vaidelys, who has been with Lietuvos Pastas since April 2003, takes over the new position from Jonas Salavejus, who stepped down earlier this month.
Lietuvos Pastas posted record high losses of LTL 8.558 million last year. The 100 percent state-owned company came under fire from the National Audit Office last month for its failure to implement the office's recommendations for increasing operating efficiency.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika
Losses of Vilniaus Vingis soar to LTL 23.2 million
Lithuanian asset management and TV deflection yoke production company Vilniaus Vingis posted losses of LTL 23.2 million last year on sales of LTL 49.1 million. The deflection yoke manufacturer recorded losses of LTL 5.594 million on sales of LTL 81.24 million for 2005. At the start of 2006, the company said that it expected to return to profit that year.
However, Vilniaus Vingis' future has been in question since its main customer, the TV tube manufacturer Ekranas, was declared bankrupt last year. The Vilnius-based company's managers are expected to announce shortly if it will continue operations. Lietuvos Zinios
Utenos Trikotazas posts lower profit
Lithuania's largest knitwear manufacturer Utenos Trikotazas posted a pretax profit of LTL 9.5 million for the full year 2006, a drop of 28.5 percent from the previous year.
The company said that it is targeting a 0.8 percent rise in pretax profit to LTL 9.6 million this year. Annual sales came in at LTL 124.81 million last year, up 2.8 percent from the previous year. The company aims to achieve a 12.7 percent growth in sales to LTL 140.72 million this year.
Thursday, 15th of February
E-banking user number surge 31 percent
Ten Lithuanian commercial banks had 1.72 million Internet banking users as of early January, a surge of 31 percent from 1.31 million users a year earlier. Hansabankas remains the number one e-banking service provider with 702,000 online users as of early January and was closely followed by SEB Vilniaus Bankas with 630,000 e-customers. DnB Nord was the third with 170,000 e-bank users.
"The e-banking expansion was stunning in Lithuania in 2006 - despite the forecasts of slowdown, the growth rate exceeded the rise of 2005 by one-third," Ramunas Strauka, director of Product and Electronic Channels Department of Hansabankas, said.
The mobile versions of e-banking services offered by some Lithuania's banks last year also found their niche on the market, he added.
Baltic Amadeus raises sales
Baltic Amadeus, one of the oldest IT companies in Lithuania, posted LTL 39.38 million in unaudited sales for 2006, a surge of 59 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 24.79 million. The company's revenues on services alone soared by 70 percent over the year.
Viktoras Tonkich, Baltic Amadeus president, attributed the rise in sales on focus on customer needs and the quality of services. "We achieved and far exceeded the objectives set for the year," he said.
The company earlier projected the sales to reach LTL 35 million in 2006. Revenues on services were expected to grow by 30 percent.
Money in circulation down to LTL 7.7 billion
Currency in circulation in Lithuania declined by LTL 352.8 million in January from December to LTL 7.7 billion. Residential deposits with the Bank of Lithuania, as a result of transactions, grew by LTL 713.8 million over the month to LTL 6.8 billion. The central bank's external assets increased by LTL 464.9 million to LTL 15.4 billion. Central government deposits, as a result of transactions, went up by LTL 698 million to LTL 4.1 billion.
Wednesday, 14th of February
PM says Lithuania to hold up to 50 percent of new nuclear plant
Lithuania will hold up to 50 percent of shares in a new nuclear power plant that is planned to be built on its territory, while the remaining shares should be equally divided among other partners in the project.
"Lithuania will have the largest share, up to 50 percent," Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said on Tuesday.
He also said it was planned that a new two-reactor facility would have a capacity of 3,200 megawatts.
A meeting of Latvian, Estonian and Polish foreign or economy ministers is to take place in the nearest future. During the meeting, the details of the nuclear power plant project should be discussed.
The investments in the project should amount to EUR 2.4-4 billion.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios
Lithuanian district heat suppliers post loss
Amid increased prices for natural gas and other fuels, Lithuanian district heating supply companies ended 2006 with aggregate losses of LTL 17 million. District heating suppliers' revenue totalled LTL 933 million last year, up 2.1 percent from LTL 914 million in 2005.
The suppliers were adversely affected by rising fuel prices, because they had to borrow money in order to balance their cash flows and finance their investment projects.
MG Baltic sells 48 percent stake in Levuo
MG Baltic's investment arm, MG Investment, on Monday sold a 47.89 percent stake in the clothing and accessories retailer Levuo to Aura Estate in a deal worth LTL 19 million. Aura Estate paid LTL 83.78 per share with a nominal value of LTL 33.
Levuo, which is based in Panevezys, in northern Lithuania, posted sales of LTL 51 million last year, a rise of 30 percent on the previous year.
Aura Estate is controlled by Aurelijus Rusteika, one of the owners of household appliances chain Topo Centras.
Tuesday, 13th of February
Rokiskio Suris profit plunges
Rokiskio Suris Group, the leading dairy group, reported LTL 13.082 million in unaudited net profit for full 2006, a plunge of 38 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 21 million. The turnover of the group rose by 9.4 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 517.67 million. For 2007 the group is projecting a 16.1 percent rise in sales, to LTL 610.01 million, and at least 4.2 percent net profit margin. The net profit of the group should reach some LTL 25.6 million this year.
Ekranas to resume glass production
Lithuania's bankrupt TV tube manufacturer Ekranas intends to resume the production of glass components for TV tubes, as well as to manufacture other products from glass.
Ekranas' creditors took the decision to resume glass production during their meeting in late January, Gintaras Gelcys, the director of Baklis, which is the court-appointed administrator of Ekranas, has confirmed.
"We still have a very large amount of raw materials in stock. This will also help us to see if glass production is profitable and decide on further actions," Gelcys said.
He said that an analysis of what glass products Ekranas could make was underway, adding that the plant could resume glass production in about a month.
Creditors have filed approximately LTL 295 million in claims against Ekranas. The balance value of the company's assets was LTL 502 million on the day on which the bankruptcy proceedings were initiated, but most of the assets had been pledged as collateral for loans.
Lithuanias budget revenues above target
The Lithuanian central government collected LTL 1.511 billion in budget revenues in January 2007, exceeding the projected revenue target of LTL 1.488 billion by 22.9 million. Total revenues including the EU funds amounted to LTL 1.804 billion in January. In line with the 2007 budget law, the central government's revenues should reach LTL 19.214 billion, including LTL 3.086 billion in EU funds, this year.
Monday, 12th of February
Olympic Casino licensed to operate limited prize machines
Olympic Casino has been licensed to operate in Lithuania Category B slot machines offering limited jackpots. The State Gambling Supervisory Commission (SGCC) issued this license to Olympic Casino Group Baltija, the Lithuanian subsidiary of Olympic Entertainment Group, on Friday.
"This means that the company will be able to put limited prize machines in any of its gaming facilities," said Andrius Karaliunas, the SGCC administration director.
Olympic Casino Group Baltija already has a license to operate the so-called "Category A" machines which offer unlimited prize money.
The group currently has 10 casinos in Lithuania, of which 5 are in Vilnius. These casinos also operate card tables and roulette wheels. Olympic Entertainment Group is the largest gaming operator in the Baltic countries with casinos in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus.
Pretax earnings of nuclear power plant down 18.5 percent in 2006
Ignalina nuclear power plant (INPP) posted some LTL 11.9 million in pretax profit for full 2006, a decline of 13.8 percent versus the year-earlier figure although far above the LTL 2.4 million amount projected early in 2006.
"The output of electricity declined on the back of reactor maintenance and the repairs of one turbine, which took longer than expected. On top of that, our revenues moved lower compared with the year-earlier. However, the cost-effectiveness measures applied enabled us to achieve quite a significant profit," said Viktoras Shevaldinas, INPP CEO.
Operating profit made up some LTL 7.5 million last year, while the profit on investments reached approximately LTL 4.5 million, Eugenijus Grumskas, INPP CFO, said.
In 2005 the company suffered LTL 268,000 in losses on financial operations and investments mostly on the back of US dollar fluctuations.
Three companies to supply hardware to university
Three companies won the LTL 2.1 million tender to provide hardware to Kaunas Technological University. Company Computer System Centre received LTL 1.5 million, Kaunas Business Machine Company got LTL 434,200 and Aideta LTL 152,400. The companies will supply computers, PBXs, projectors, printers and other devices to the university.
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