Observer "Lietuva"
Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 15.2008

Saturday, 12th of April

DnB Nord bank reports figures
DnB Nord Bankas, the third-largest Lithuanian bank by assets, reported LTL 37.6 million in net profit for the first three months of this year, up 55.5 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 24.2 million. Lithuania's DnB Nord Group sees its profit growing by some 20 percent this year, to LTL 128.3 million, from LTL 106.92 million in 2007. Last year the audited net profit of the bank alone made up LTL 107.88 million as estimated under the international financial accounting standards.

Hansabankas presented profit
Lithuanian financial group Hansabankas reported LTL 100.2 million in unaudited net profit for the first three months of this year, up 19 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 84 million. The net profit of the bank alone soared to LTL 102.8 million, from LTL 64.6 million in January-March 2007, Hansabankas said citing preliminary estimations. Hansabankas group posted LTL 412.665 million in net profit for full 2007, up 84.6 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 223.5 million. Consolidated assets increased by 43.1 percent, to LTL 25.13 billion, from LTL 17.565 billion in 2006.

Labour productivity rises
Labor productivity rose by 4.6 percent in Lithuania over 2007, the Statistics Department reported on Friday. The average gross value added (GVA) per hour worked reached LTL 30.16 last year, a rise of LTL 3.39 from the 2006 figure. The average added value per employee rose by 5.7 percent in comparative prices, to LTL 56,600 in 2007. Last year the highest gross added value per hour worked, at LTL 73.27, was in the real estate and rent business, the department said.

Friday, 11th of April

Ukio Bank joined Riga and Tallinn bourses
Lithuania's Ukio Bankas, a member of the Vilnius Stock Exchange, has joined the bourses of Riga and Tallinn to become the 24th company with membership of all three NASDAQ OMX Baltic exchanges. Ukio Bankas' shares were among the most liquid shares on the Vilnius bourse last year with an 80 percent growth in annual turnover to almost LTL 470 million. Ukio Bankas, the fast-growing Lithuanian commercial bank, reported LTL 16.1 million in unaudited net profit for the first three months of this year, up 11 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 14.5 million.

Vilkyskiai Dairy posts sales
Vilkyskiu Pienine (Vilkyskiai Dairy), one of the most technologically advanced cheese producers in Lithuania, posted LTL 24.3 million in sales for the first three months of this year, down 11.9 percent from the year-earlier. In March alone, the sales dropped by 10.4 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 7.61 million. Last year the consolidated sales of Vilkyskiu Pienine Group, including Modest, its mozzarella cheese production subsidiary, rose by 18 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 136.3 million. The net profit totalled LTL 10.2 million.
Verslo Zinios

Lithuanian central government collected LTL 4.607 billion
The Lithuanian central government collected LTL 4.607 billion in budget revenues during the first quarter of this year, missing its quarterly revenue target by LTL 2.4 million, the Finance Ministry reported on Thursday. In March alone, budget revenues came in at LTL 1.501 billion, which was LTL 12.8 million below the target. Compared with Q1 2007, the revenues, excluding EU funds, increased by LTL 747.3 million this year. Total revenues for the first quarter, including assistance funds from the EU and other foreign countries, amounted to LTL 6.291 billion, including LTL 1.684 billion in EU support. In March alone, total revenues reached LTL 2.307 billion, of which LTL 806.4 million were the EU funds. The cutting of income tax to 24 percent, from 27 percent early in January and the elimination of 4 percent social tax curbed the rise in three-month revenue figure by approximately LTL 600 million.
Lietuvos Rytas, Kauno Diena

Thursday, 10th of April

Aviva Lithuania pays LTL 1,03 million
Lithuania's life insurance company Aviva Lietuva has paid LTL 1.03 million to the family of a customer who died in a car accident last summer. This represents the biggest single insurance payout by Aviva Lietuva, the company said in a press release on Wednesday. Aviva Lietuva is part of the international insurance group Aviva, which has 40 million customers worldwide.
Lietuvos Rytas

Lithuanian export grows
Lithuanian exports grew by 33.2 percent in the first two months of 2008 from a year earlier, to LTL 8 billion while imports rose by 26.6 percent, to LTL 11.1 billion, the Statistics Department reported on Wednesday. The country's two-month foreign trade deficit widened by 12.1 percent year-on-year, to LTL 3.1 billion, according to preliminary data based on customs declarations and Intrastat reports. In February alone, Lithuania's exports rose by 13.3 percent versus January, while imports increased by 4.5 percent. Excluding seasonal effects, exports and imports rose by 6 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. The growth in exports was largely the result of a 7.3 times surge in the exports of cereals, a 2.5 times rise in petroleum products exports, and a 62.6 percent increase in the exports of fertilizers.
Lietuvos Rytas

Problems about Leo LT
PM-chaired supervisory council of Leo LT, which was supposed to discuss draft documents on the establishment of Lithuania's national investor company on Wednesday, has postponed the meeting. The meeting was postponed due to a large volume of documents involved - about 100 pages, and the council members asked for more time to review the drafts, Nemira Pumprickaite, an aide to PM, said. The meeting would probably take place next week, she added. Ignas Staskevicius, the head of NDX Energija, believes that the government procrastinates decisions due to alleged opposition of energy experts at the Economy Ministry. He sees Leo LT being short of funds for the whole year as its three subsidiaries - state-owned Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) and Rytu Skirstomieji Tinklai (RST), as well as VST controlled by NDX Energija will not pay Leo LT any dividends, which at present are the only source of funding available to the national investor company.
Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 9th of April

Rimi Baltic presents numbers
Rimi Baltic's first-quarter sales in all three Baltic countries increased by 16 percent year-on-year to EUR 300.8 million, with Latvian sales up 21 percent to LTL 147.2 million and Estonian sales up 7 percent to LTL 88.3 million. The chain's total sales for March rose by 12 percent to 106.1 million euros. Latvian sales were up 17 percent to LTL 52.4 million and Estonian sales were up 6 percent to LTL 30.7 million. Rimi Baltic, which is owned by ICA Baltic, currently owns 217 stores in the three countries, of which 94 are in Latvia, 66 in Estonia and 57 in Lithuania.

Inflation exceeds 11 percent
Consumer prices in Lithuania rose by 1 percent in March from February, taking 12-month inflation to 11.3 percent, the Statistics Department reported on Tuesday.
The average annual inflation rate in March reached 7.3 percent, it said. The monthly rise in consumer prices was mostly due to increased prices for food and soft drinks (up 1.4 percent), hotel, cafe and restaurant services (up 2.5 percent), and alcoholic beverages and tobacco goods (up 1.3 percent). Transport costs rose by 0.7 percent and prices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels went up by 0.6 percent. Year-on-year, food and soft drink prices were 18.1 percent higher, prices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels were 17.6 percent higher and transport costs were 13.7 percent higher. Clothes and footwear prices fell by 3.7 percent.
Kauno Diena, Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Cili Pica enters Russian market
Lithuania's largest pizza chain Cili Pica has entered the Russian market under a franchise arrangement. A Cili Pica restaurant opened for business in St. Petersburg last week, Cilija, the chain's operator, said on Tuesday. The 400-square-meter restaurant, located in Dobrolyubov Avenue, in the city center, can accommodate up to 100 visitors at a time and employs a staff of 38 people. Cilija said that its Russian partners planned to open more Cili outlets in Russia's second-biggest city in the near future.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 8th of April

Vilniaus Furniture presented its figures
Vilniaus Baldai (Vilnius Furniture), one of Lithuania's leading furniture manufacturers, said on Monday that its first-quarter sales fell by 10.8 percent to LTL 30.292 million down from LTL 33.958 million a year earlier. Sales for March alone slumped down by 26.3 percent year-on-year to LTL 9.476 million, the company reported to the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE). The furniture manufacturer earlier posted losses of LTL 1.068 million for the first two months of this year, up from losses of LTL 136,000 in the same time last year. Lithuania's investment company Invalda held a 66.06 percent stake in Vilniaus Baldai, which is listed on the blue-chip Main List of the VSE, at the end of last year.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Sanitas pays dividents
Sanitas, the owner of pharmaceutical plants in Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia, plans to pay a dividend of LTL 0.6 per share to shareholders for 2007, with a total of LTL 18.664 million to be set aside for this purpose. Sanitas' shareholders will be asked to vote on the dividend proposal on April 17, the company said on Monday. Sanitas' shares traded for LTL 26.01 a share on the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE) on Monday. If the shareholders give the go-ahead, this will be the third time the company has paid a dividend. It paid no dividends for 2001, 2002 and 2006.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Development of Panasonic
Japan's corporation Matsushita Electric Industrial, the owner of Panasonic brand, moves to strengthen foothold in Lithuania and other Baltic countries. Last week the corporation held a presentation of new Panasonic products on Lithuania's market and announced the change of name to Panasonic Electric. The European activities of Panasonic have intensified considerably of lately. The European headquarters of the company moved from Vienna to Poland. Baltic offices are being set up. "We are trying to expand our activities and boost sales since Europe has been our smallest market to date. Here we sell only 13 percent of our output, yet this should change in the nearest time. Now we have a perfect chance for that since the economy of these countries is growing very fast," the daily quoted Radek Jaworski, head of Panasonic public relations department for Poland and the Baltic countries, as saying.
Verslo Zinios

Monday, 7th of April

Unemployment rate in Lithuania
Lithuania's unemployment rate made up 4.7 percent in March, unchanged from February, the Labour Exchange reported on Friday. Compared with March 2007, the jobless rate shrank by 0.2 percentage points. A total of 99,600 people were registered unemployed at the end of March, of which 56.8 percent were women and 43.2 percent were men. As of Apr. 1, the number of jobseekers was the largest in the municipalities of Druskininkai (9.4 percent) and Jurbarkas (9.1 percent), and the lowest in the municipalities of Neringa (1.7 percent), Elektrenai (1.7 percent), Trakai (2 percent) and Kazlu Ruda (2.2 percent).
Verslo Zinios

Negative reactions towards Leo LT
Aidan Manktelow, an economist at the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), has said that his negative opinion about the creation of Lithuania's national power utility, Leo LT, was not based on media reports. The economist said he doubted if the energy sector consolidation was really a good idea. It appeared that Manktelau based his opinion on Leo LT only on a couple of sources in Lithuania and only one of the questioned persons admits that he discussed energy issues with this economist. Manktelow talked with some representatives of the President's Office and the Bank of Lithuania, while preparing his report about Leo LT, some of these questioned representatives present their opinions in today's issue of Verslo Zinios. Verslo Zinios

Ukio Bank will pay dividents
Ukio Bank is going to being paying dividends to the bank's shareholders from the coming Tuesday, such decision was made during the shareholders' meeting. Ukio bank earned LTL 82.72 million of net profit last year; it was by 75 percent more than in 2006 (LTL 47.38 million). The entire group of the bank received LTL 77.35 million of profit, which is by 78 percent more than in 2006. The bank paid dividends worth LTL 1.8 for its shareholders last year.

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