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 Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 21.2007

Saturday, 26th of May

Snaige looking for new investors
Snaige, the sole Baltic household refrigerator producer, is busy making arrangements for a new investor to acquire a stake in the company. The company had begun due diligence work, while its executives were holding meeting with potential buyers, the company said in a statement to the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE). Darius Janulevicius, CEO of Hermis Capital, the investment company and the largest single Snaige's shareholder, would not comment..
Media reports have mentioned Slovenian household appliances producer Gorenje among the prospective buyers.
Lietuvos Zinios

New head of Lithuanian Business Representative Office in Brussels
Tomas Vasilevskis has been appointed as head of the Lithuanian Business Representative Office in Brussels.
Vasilevskis, who until recently worked at the Political-Economic Section of the US embassy in Vilnius, will take up his new position in Brussels on Monday. He will replace Andrius Romanovskis, a Lithuanian-registered lobbyist.
Vasilevskis, who has a master's degree in political science, headed the Foreign Relations Department of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists in 2004 to 2005.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lietuvos Dujos saves money
Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas), Lithuanian natural gas import and distribution company controlled by Germany's E.ON and Russia's Gazprom, claims that Lithuania's residents would save LTL 10.5 million in a half a year. The company emphasises that the consumers saved up to LTL 36 million due to suitable gas prices this first quarter of the year. LTL 11 million were saved by the Lithuanian residents and LTL 25 million by free consumers.
Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 25th of May

Norfos Mazemena and Rimi negate rumours
Norfos Mazmena, the operator of the third-largest Lithuania's grocery chain Norfa, has denied rumours that the rivalling chain Rimi Lietuva aims to take over Norfa's retail network. However, the representatives of Norfos Mazmena have admitted in a statement that Rimi Lietuva had been interested in such a transaction.
"The companies have not concluded a written agreement to launch talks," the company noted. According to media reports, Rimi Lietuva aims to take the market by surprise via the purchase of rivalling retail chain. Yet, other retailers are unwilling to divest their business. Norfos Mazmena operated 111 retail outlets as of early May. Lietuvos Zinios

Accommodation prices rise
The prices of new accommodation rose by 10-15 percent, or LTL 500-900 per square meter, in Lithuania in the first four months of 2007.Overall housing prices increased up to 5 percent, the real estate company InReal said in a report adding that the growth of prices in Kaunas and Klaipeda exceeded the average. The rise in overall housing prices was rather coherent, the company noted. Yet, the growth of new accommodation prices sped up in March and April. Mindaugas Simkus, head of intermediation department with InReal, attributed the rise to the growing demand for accommodation.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios

Tez Tour is fined
The tour operator Tez Tour was fined LTL 10 thousand for misleading advertisement. The Competition Department announced that Tez Tour presented misleading information about the conditions in some hotels in Egypt in its advertisement catalogue of 2006-2007. Such statements like “there are 10 kilometres from hotel to airport”, “hotel Naam Bay is in the centre”, and “300 meters to the beach” were acknowledged as misleading. Tez Tour claimed that it does not agree with the conclusions and will complain.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 24th of May

New plane ticketing platform
FlyLAL-Lietuvos Avialinijos, the country's largest air carrier, expects to implement an electronic ticket system, developed by the technological solutions firm Amadeus, this year. The air carrier said it plans to implement its ticketing platform by September and make it fully ready for use in the second half of this year.
At an initiative of the International Air Transport Association, the air transport industry is to fully replace paper tickets with e-tickets by January 1, 2008.
Lietuvos Rytas

Negative reactions from Standard & Poor
The international rating agency Standard & Poor's has revised Lithuania's ratings outlook to negative, from stable. At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its long-term and short-term sovereign credit ratings on the country at A and A-1, respectively. The surge in disposable income, as well as rapid credit expansion, continued to stimulate strong domestic demand growth in 2007, after some signs of cooling in the second half of 2006.
Given the very limited scope of monetary policy under a currency board regime, fiscal policy was the main macroeconomic instrument in demand management, the agency said. Although conservative budgeting had allowed Lithuania to achieve low deficit and debt levels in recent years, this had been insufficient to dampen demand pressures during the period of economic overheating.
Lietuvos Rytas

Vilniaus Baldai net profit
Vilniaus Baldai (Vilnius Furniture), one of Lithuania's leading furniture manufacturers, in April alone, earned a net profit of LTL 115,000, compared with a loss of LTL690, 000 a year earlier. The net profit of the company reached LTL 280 thousand; the losses were LTL 122 thousand during the same period in 2006.
Respublika

Wednesday, 23rd of May

Grigiskes reports its figures
Grigiskes, the largest Lithuania's hardboard and toilet paper manufacturer, reported LTL 44.6 million in sales for the first four months of 2007, a rise of 14 percent from the year-earlier figure.
Pretax earnings of the group, which also includes the Baltwood subsidiary, made up LTL 1.95 million in the reporting period, Grigiskes said in a performance statement to the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE). In April alone, the sales of the group made up LTL 10.5 million.
Respublika

Snoras issues Eurobonds
Trading in three-year Eurobonds of Snoras, the fifth by assets Lithuania's commercial bank, has been launched on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Eurobonds might be traded on LSE gilt edged and fixed interest markets, Snoras said in a statement to the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE).
Snoras is the first Lithuania's commercial bank to issue Eurobonds and the first domestic bank to list debt securities on LSE.
Respublika

Kraft Foods Lituva posts figures
Kraft Foods Lietuva, the Lithuanian subsidiary of the global food giant Kraft Foods, posted a pre-tax profit of LTL 30.5 million for 2006, a rise of 26.7 percent on the previous year. Kraft Foods Lietuva's shareholders have decided to pay no dividends for the year and to carry forward the 2006 profit into the next financial year, the company said.
It said sales soared by 75 percent last year to almost 35,000 tons and sales revenue went up by more than 27 percent to over LTL 326 million. Kraft Foods Lietuva, which is based in the country's second-biggest city of Kaunas, produces Karuna chocolates, Estrella potato chips and other products.
Kauno Diena

Tuesday, 22nd of May

fly-LAL-Lithuanian Airlines launches new flights
FlyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines, the largest Lithuania's carrier, will launch charter flights from Palanga to Antalya, Turkey, as part of cooperation with tour operator Tez Tour.
Direct flights from Palanga to Antalya and back, which would be offered during the summer season. It is planned to make 11 flights during the summer season. The flights will begin in June.
Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios)

Snoras’ net profit rises
Lithuanian financial services group Snoras said its first-quarter consolidated net profit rose by 26.3 percent from a year earlier to reach LTL 17.8 million
Snoras said the result was the highest first-quarter net profit ever achieved by the group. It is the biggest earned amount during the whole bank’s activity period. Loans increased by 51.2 percent to LTL 2.347 billion and deposits were up 43.2 percent to LTL 5.095 billion.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Inchcape enters Lithuanian market
Inchcape, one of the world's largest automotive retailers, is entering the Lithuanian market through acquisition of a majority shareholding in a local Mazda, Ford, Mitsubishi and Hyundai business. Inchcape said that it signed on Monday a deal with Vitvela, which operates Mazda, Ford, Mitsubishi and Hyundai dealerships in Lithuania, to purchase part of its business. Under the deal, a new company will be established to buy the dealerships. Inchcape will own 67 percent of the new company's shares and Vitvela will hold the remaining 33 percent. Vitvela now owns Vilniaus Vista, Vytaras and Autovytaras, which sell new Ford, Mazda, Hyundai and Mitsubishi cars.
Lietuvos Rytas

Monday, 21st of May

Achempak manufactures
Lithuanian soft polypropylene container manufacturer Achempak, a 50-50 percent joint venture between Achemos Grupe and Switzerland's company.
The company's director, Rimantas Skiedra, said that they had started manufacturing packaging for food products, such as flour, cacao and starch.
Achempak targets a rise of more than 50 percent in annual sales to LTL 27 million this year, from LTL 17.3 million last year.
The company currently sells 70 percent of its products in Lithuania and exports the remaining 30 percent to Western Europe. It aims to increase its exports to 50 percent by 2008.
Lietuvos Zinios

Akmenes Cementas halts exports
Akmenes Cementas (Akmene Cement), the sole Lithuania's cement producer, has halted exports to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and Finland as it battles to meet surging demand on domestic market.
The company's output, excluding approximately 10 percent exported to Latvia, was being marketed in Lithuania, Zaremba said. Deliveries to the neighbouring Baltic country could not be suspended since the exports agreement would remain in effect by the end of the year, he explained, adding that exports to Latvia might be stopped from 2008.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Finance Minister talks
Lithuania's new Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius says that the biggest challenge for him would be the formation of a 2008 budget, Lietuvos Rytas reported.
"We will need to rethink how we plan expenditures. The personal income tax will go down starting next year. This can lead to a relative decrease in the state's revenues. So, funds must be used more rationally as well. The fiscal deficit should not exceed 0.5 percent of the gross domestic product next year," Sadzius said in an interview with the daily newspaper. "I am almost certain that those proposals will affect not only the personal income tax. Many experts tell us that we should try and find reserves by scrapping one or another economically-unviable tax break or expanding the tax base," he said.
Verslo Zinios

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