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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 20.2007

Saturday, 19th of May

Lithuanians sell Alytaus Tekstile
The Lithuanian state sold its majority stake in the textile manufacturer Alytaus Tekstile (Alytus Textile) on the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE) Friday at a starting price of LTL 358,300. The transaction was brokered by Finasta, the VSE said. It did not disclose the name of the buyer. Mantas Galinis, a Finasta broker, said he could not comment on the details of the deal at this point. Alytaus Tekstile ceased production altogether on Thursday. It might start manufacturing a completely new product, geotextiles, in the future.
Lietuvos Zinios

Snaige searches for buyer
Lithuania's Snaige, the sole Baltic household refrigerator producer, has opened search for a buyer for its majority holding, while analysts believe that Gorenje might be among the potential buyers as the Slovenian company seeks to gain a foothold on new markets.
The list of main shareholders of Snaige, which runs refrigerator plants in Alytus and Kaliningrad, currently includes Survesta, a subsidiary of investment company Hermis Capital with 22.78 percent of Snaige's stock, as well as the customers of Hansabankas and SEB with 51.9 percent and 8.5 percent of the stock, respectively.

Achema Group is interested in Nigeria
Achema Group, one of Lithuania's largest conglomerates, is interested in fertilizer production operations in Nigeria but has not decided yet if to acquire an existing plant in the African country. "Our people are there in Nigeria. We are interested in a fertilizer plant with a daily production output of 1,000 tons of ammonia, urea and NPK (nitrogen, phosphate and potassium) fertilizers. However, it is too early to speak of an investment -- decisions will depend on many circumstances," Achema Group's spokeswoman, Virginija Dunauskiene said. Achema Group posted revenues of LTL 2.56 billion last year.
Kauno Diena

Friday, 18th of May

Alita will sell its production to the US
Lithuanian alcoholic beverage producer Alita is launching brandy exports to the United States. Alita expects to supply at least 100,000 bottles of brandy to the US market during the first year.The company said that the first batch of Alita brandy should reach the US at the end of May. Alita's brandy is imported to the US by Litusco, a Chicago-based firm.
Last year Alita began to export four sorts of sparking wine to US.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce opens in London
The Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom has been established in London. Representatives from more than 50 companies took part in the chamber's constitutive meeting on Wednesday, the Lithuanian embassy in London said.
Glorywood Director Martynas Joksas was elected president of the new organization for a one-year term.
The chamber will help its members make contacts with Lith
uanian businesspeople in other countries and will promote business relations between Lithuania and Britain. Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Lithuanian insurance companies post profits
Lithuanian insurance companies posted LTL 35.3 million in aggregate profits for 2006, almost a ten-fold increase from LTL 3.6 million the previous year.
Life insurers' profits soared from LTL 0.8 million to LTL 19.2 million, while non-life insurers' profits went up from LTL 2.8 million to LTL 16.1 million, officials from the Insurance Supervisory Commission (ISC) said at a news conference on Thursday.
"It was the most profitable year for the insurance industry ever. We expect this profitability to increase further this year," ISC Vice-chairman Audrius Linartas said.
"Based on data available to us, non-life insurance companies suffered losses of LTL 25 million from their direct operations last year, but they earned profits as a result of investment activities," Linartas said.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 17th of May

Akmenes Cementas is borrowing money for modernization
Lithuania's only cement manufacturer Akmenes Cementas is borrowing LTL 212 million from a syndicate of banks to finance the biggest modernization project in its history, which involves shifting from wet to dry cement production technology.
The syndicate is led by SEB Vilniaus Bankas and includes DnB Nord, Hansabankas, Sampo and Snoras.
Akmenes Cementas is to contribute LTL 78 million from its own resources to the project, which is estimated to cost a total of LTL 290 million.
The company expects to complete the project by 2011.The new production technology will enable the plant to increase its annual production capacity by one-fourth to 1.5 million tons and meet the growing demand for cement. It will also help reduce environmental pollution and comply with international efficiency standards. Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Number of illegal software
Some 57 percent of the software installed in 2006 on personal computers in Lithuania was obtained illegally, compared with 56 percent in Latvia and 52 percent in Estonia, according to the Business Software Alliance's (BSA) global software piracy study.
The study was conducted by the market research firm IDC.
The software industry lost an estimated 25 million US dollars in revenue in Lithuania last year due to software piracy. In Latvia, losses due to illegal software to amounted to 20 million dollars, and in Estonia, to 18 million dollars.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lithuanian railways’ net profit grows
Lithuanian national railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) achieved a growth in net profits to LTL 111.7 million last year, but will stick to its policy of paying no dividends. The railway operator, which is 100 percent owned by the state, will use the 2006 profit for investment purposes and for covering part of losses from passenger transportation. The other LTL 4 million will be meant for the management and inventory of the railways maintenance property.
Lietuvos Rytas

Wednesday, 16th of May

Mazeikiu Nafta posts losses
Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta that is controlled by Poland's PKN Orlen, posted consolidated net losses of almost LTL 135 million for the first quarter of this year. This result compares with consolidated net profits of LTL 133.628 million for the first quarter of 2006. After the Druzba pipeline stopped providing oil, the financial results of the company went down, the net profit stood by LTL 374 million last year.
The company decided not to pay a dividend for 2006 after its annual net profits slumped to LTL 180.1 million.

Lifosa posts sales
Lithuanian phosphate fertilizer manufacturer Lifosa reported LTL 77.159 million
sales of diammonium phosphate, the company's key product, grew to LTL 67.543 million last month, the company said in a performance statement to the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE). Earlier the company said its net profit halved to LTL 7.9 million in the first three months of 2007. The fertilizer plant is located in Kedainiai, in central Lithuania.
Verslo Zinios

The number of Lithuanian websites grow
The number of registered internet names with Lithuanian ending lt. Is 50.2 thousand now. Kaunas Information Technologies Development Institute administrates the biggest number of internet names in Lithuania. It registered 10.96 thousand of names. The companies Interneto Vizija and Elektronine Prekyba ir Ko lag a little bit behind the Institute. The registration payment for the internet address decreased since March 13 this year. The registration order was also liberalized.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios

Tuesday, 15th of May

Mazeikiu Nafta ends first quarter
Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta, which is controlled by Poland's PKN Orlen, ended the first quarter of this year with a loss of around USD 90 million, according to unofficial information. Mazeikiu Nafta spokesman Mindaugas Voldemaras did not confirm this information on Monday. Mazeikiu Nafta has not yet restored its full working capacity after a major fire last October. Mazeikiu Nafta received USD 65.5 million of audited net profit in 2006.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lithuanian post is in red
Lithuania's state postal operator Lietuvos Pastas (Lithuanian Post) remained in the red in the first quarter of this year with a loss of LTL 2.558 million after posting annual losses in 2006 for the first time in recent years.
The company's first-quarter revenue rose by 7.9 percent from a year earlier to LTL 46.356 million, according to preliminary data provided by the Transport Ministry in its quarterly transport sector report.
Lietuvos Pastas' expenses grew by 10.9 percent in the first three months of this year to LTL 49.093 million. The postal operator reported losses of LTL 8.292 million for the full year 2006, on revenue of LTL 180.591 million.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lithuanian constructions rocket up
Lithuanian builders carried out construction work worth a total of LTL 1.655 billion during the first quarter of 2007, a surge of 43 percent from a year earlier.
The total value of construction work performed by Lithuanian companies within the country rocketed up by 99 percent, to LTL 1.642 billion, while the value of construction work carried out abroad edged up by 1 percent, to LTL 13 million.
New construction value made up LTL 983 million and accounted for almost 60 percent of the total volume of construction work performed in the country in the reporting period.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Monday, 14th of May

fly-LAL-Lithuanian Airlines are on dangerous line
The capital of flyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines is balancing on the dangerous line. It stood by LTL 22 thousand in 2005, last year it was minus LTL 7.656 million. According to Saulius Stasiunas, head of the airlines, flyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines are supported by other companies. Stasiunas claims that there can be no theoretical possibility of the possible bankruptcy, as the enlarged capital in 2007 completely solved the sufficiency in the capital. The airlines had LTL 29.43 million of retained losses at the beginning of the year. The amounts payable and liabilities declined by 9 percent from 2005, to LTL 93.8 million. Lithuanian Airlines trimmed losses by 38.6 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 16.8 million in 2006. FlyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines is 100 percent owned by Lithuanian-equity FlyLAL Group. According to latest figures, Fima, the electronic solutions developer, holds 30 percent of FlyLAL Group both directly and indirectly. ZIA Valda, the property developer, owns 45 percent, while Sanitex holds 25 percent of the air carrier group.
Lietuvos Zinios

Snoras debuts in Eurobond
Lithuanian bank Sn Color oras, which is controlled by two shareholders, successfully placed its debut Eurobond issue worth EUR 175 million.
The bank said the three-year Eurobond issue carried an annual coupon of 7 percent.
"The floating of the Eurobond issue in the international market was more successful than we had expected. This is a highly successful deal which will help us diversify our funding sources," Snoras Vice-president Naglis Stancikas said in a statement. Snoras said nearly 60 investors from various European countries participated in the transaction, of which British investors accounted for 59 percent and Swiss investors for 12 percent. With overall demand for the bonds exceeding EUR 270 million.
Verslo Zinios

Sampo bank increases investment deposits
The distributed funds and investment deposits of Sampo bank increased 2.5 times per year, they grew by LTL 254.54 million. According to the specialists, due to the raising inflation, more Lithuanian residents tend to save money not in banks, but to invest it into investment funds. The amount of the distributed Sampo investment funds is LTL 213.14 million, which is 2.3 times more than a year ago. The investment deposits with stock indexes and funds stand by LTL 32.4 million, it 4.8 times more than last year.
Verslo Zinios

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