Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 14.2007

Saturday, 7th of April

Achema Grupe raises its revenues
Achemos Grupe posted revenues of about LTL 2.56 billion for the full year 2006, up 21.9 percent from LTL 2.12 billion the previous year.
"Last year's revenue growth was due largely to trade operations, particularly those of the successfully expanding Agrochema retail network," Bronislovas Lubys, president of Achemos Grupe, said. He added that the group's new chemical and petroleum product terminal in Klaipeda, which became operational in the spring of 2006, also posted good results.
Achema Group spent LTL 451 million for investments last year, which is 30 percent more than in 2005.
Lietuvos Zinios

A site for new atomic power plant
Lietuvos Energija is already establishing a site for the building a new atomic power plant. The company plans to evaluate the site’s logistics and construction possibilities near present Ignalina Atomic Power Plant. It has also announced a tender for the program of the power plant effect on environment creation. According to Aurelija Trakseliene, media representative in Lietuvos Energija, there will be two more studies made this year. The first one will be finished by the end of June, other one at the end of August. The studies will be financed by Lietuvos Energija.
Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena

Foreign workers without spouses
Lithuanian companies, looking for working force abroad, should only look for unmarried professionals. The family members of the foreigner working in Lithuania have almost no chances to get permission for living in Lithuania. A professional coming from a country that does not belong to the European Union could bring one's family only after living in Lithuania for two years. Until then the family members could visit Lithuania only as tourists. Such restrictions came into force less than four months ago. The companies of foreign capital are worried that they will not be able to bring qualified professionals and managers anymore. Not every employee wants to leave his family and go to the country that is in several thousands of kilometers. The Labor Exchange received 3342 applications for permissions to work in Lithuania. Comers from 29 countries wanted to work in Lithuania last year.
Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 6th of April

Lithuanian household income increase
Lithuania's average monthly household income increased by 17.4 percent last year to LTL 681 per capita, according to a household budget survey by the Statistics Department. However, real income adjusted for inflation grew by 13.1 percent.
Household income in urban areas rose by 14.6 percent to LTL 729 per capita, while in rural areas, the growth was 25 percent to LTL 584.
Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios

Svenska Petroleum Exploration debt
Litigation with Sweden's Svenska Petroleum Exploration will cost LTL 40 million to Lithuania's government.
That debt of the state would be paid from the resources of Privatization Fund, and the decision on the allocation of required amount should be taken next week.
Last Wednesday the government postponed the decision on the distribution of LTL 347 million in resources of Privatization Fund for various purposes.
The decision on the payment of debt had not been taken since Svenska had sold the right of claim to Lithuania's debt, and the government had not yet received any confirmatory documents from the buyer.
Early in 2007, Svenska sold the right of claim to the whole Lithuania's debt, excluding USD 842,000 in litigation costs, to the limited liability company Collection Custodian.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Unemployment rate decline
Unemployment in Lithuania shrank by 0.2 percentage point, month-on-month, to reach 3.7 percent. The number of jobseekers registered with the Labor Exchange declined by 2.7 percent versus February, to reach 13,600, amid continuing high demand in labor force. Territorial labor exchanges registered 22,500 vacancies during March.
The number of officially registered unemployed people was 78,500 as of April 1, a decline of 4.2 percent or 3,400 jobless people from the month-earlier figure.
Among major cities, the unemployment rate ranged from 2.3 percent in Siauliai to 4.7 percent in Panevezys.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Thursday, 5th of April

Lytagra Group posted sales of LTL 83.6 million
Lytagra Group, Lithuania's agricultural and other equipment trader, posted LTL 83.6 million in sales for the first three months of 2007, a surge of 45.1 percent. In 2006 the group raised the sales by 24 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 345.6 million. This year the group aims to complete the construction of 21,000 square meters metals trade centre in Kaunas. The group also intends to expand its business in Alytus, Siauliai and Klaipeda. In 2007-2008 investments into the group's business would reach some LTL 60 million. Lytagra Group includes 11 companies and 12 subsidiaries.
Verslo Zinios

Commission imposes fine
The European Commission has imposed a fine of EUR 3.182 million on Lithuania for building up surplus stocks of agricultural products prior to joining the European Union.
The country has until May 2010 to pay EUR 2.971 million for surplus stocks of milk products, EUR 180,000 for fruits and EUR 30,000 for rice. The EU executive body adopted a communication setting out charges on nine of the ten member states, which joined the EU in 2004.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

New tourism information centre in Paris
The new Lithuanian tourism information centre was opened in Paris yesterday. Gediminas Miskinis, secretary of Economy Ministry, hopes that this centre will provide useful information about Lithuanian tourism possibilities. The centre was opened not far for the Triumphal Arc. It is the seventh Lithuanian tourism information centre in foreign countries.
According to the Statistics Department, 20,214 tourists from France stayed at Lithuanian accommodation instructions last year, which is 4.8 percent more compared to 2005.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Wednesday, 4th of April

Government projects economic growth
Lithuania's government sees Lithuania's economic growth continuing at a high rate in the upcoming three-year period. In 2007 the gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 6.3-7.2 percent. In 2009 the growth should be 4.5 percent. In later years the economy is expected to grow by the average of 6 percent per year.
Lietuvos Rytas

Sales of Apranga grow
Apranga, the leading clothing retailer in the Baltics, said its first-quarter sales soared by 58.6 percent year-on-year to LTL 91.8 million
Apranga said that it anticipated an operating profit of around LTL 4.99 million for the first quarter, at least 3.5 times higher than a year ago. In March alone, the group's total sales surged by 78 percent from a year earlier to LTL 34.9 million. Apranga has opened five new stores with a total area of nearly 3,000 square meters since the start of this year and plans to open 10 more in the second quarter. Four stores are slated for reorganization and two are to be closed down.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

VST reconstructs substation
Private capital electric distribution company VST started the reconstruction of transformer substation in Gedminai in Klaipeda. The project will cost more than LTL 9.4 million.
Lietuvos Rytas

Tuesday, 3rd of April

Achema posts smaller profit
Lithuanian nitrogen fertilizer manufacturer Achema posted an audited net profit of LTL 56.4 million for 2006, down 1.6 percent compared with the previous year.
The company's shareholders decided on Monday to allocate the profit to dividends and reserves. Achema's revenues fell by 6.7 percent last year to LTL 871.1 million.
"Last year's profit was affected by a rise in natural gas prices. The decline in revenues was due to a market shortage of ammonia as a raw material and an unscheduled shutdown of the ammonia unit," said Achema CEO Jonas Sirvydis. At the end of 2006, Achema put into operation a new ammonia plant, in which it had invested over LTL 300 million.
Lietuvos Zinios

Government asks permission to privatize Lietuvos Pastas
Lithuania's government has asked the Parliament for permission to make a new attempt to partially privatize Lietuvos Pastas, the state-run postal operator.
Moreover, the government proposes to remove Lietuvos Pastas from the list of companies of strategic significance to the national security.
Lietuvos Pastas posted record losses of LTL 8.6 million for 2006. Lietuvos Pastas is currently 100 percent owned by the state.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

Microsoft introduces Lithuanian version of Windows Vista
Software giant Microsoft has released the Lithuanian-language version of its Windows Vista operating system. Microsoft said the new version was released for sale to business customers on Monday and will be made available to home users in mid-April.
This is the first fully localized version of Windows for the Lithuanian market.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Monday, 2nd of April

The European Commission supports construction of nuclear power plant
The European Commission (EC) supports Lithuania's initiatives to build a new nuclear power plant.
"The Commission is determined to respect the principle of subsidiary. The EU has both nuclear and non-nuclear countries, and we leave the decision to individual countries," Commission Chairman Jose Manuel Barroso said.
"Certainly, the Commission may cooperate and support the countries, which opt for atomic energy, in some issues, such as evaluation, safety questions, perhaps some other matters," he added.
The Commission was following Lithuania's efforts to build a new modern power plant closely, Barroso said. "We will see what the possibilities for cooperation will be."
Verslo Zinios

Vilniaus Baldai reported losses
Vilniaus Baldai, one of Lithuania's leading furniture manufacturers, posted LTL 5.32 million in audited losses for full 2006, making an impressive turnaround from the year-earlier net profit of LTL 3.47 million. The board of the company would ask shareholders to forgo dividends for 2006 and transfer the retained profit of LTL 919,700 to the subsequent financial year.
Earlier Vilniaus Baldai said that its income, according to audited data, declined from LTL 110.85 to LTL 110.33 millions last year.
Lietuvos Zinios

Kaunas Airport announces tender
Kaunas Airport has announced a construction tender of new traveler terminal, which could cost LTL 40 million. The airport stated that it would sign the 7-month contract with the winner. Potential participants had to implement at least three projects worth at least LTL 25 million over the last 5 years.
Verslo Zinios

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