Observer "Lietuva"
Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 16.2008

Saturday, 19th of April

Lithuanian Energy reports figures
Lithuania's state-run power transmission system operator Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) and its subsidiaries reported on Friday LTL 47.3 million in consolidated net profits for the first quarter of this year, a four-fold increase from LTL 12.6 million a year earlier. The group's consolidated pre-tax profits soared to LTL 56.4 million from LTL 15.1 million. Lietuvos Energija alone posted 47.1 million in first-quarter net profit, up from LTL 12.8 million a year earlier. Its pre-tax profit for the reporting period was up to LTL 56.1 million from LTL 15.2 million. Lietuvos Energija CFO Rimantas Sukys said the profit growth was largely due to increased electricity sales, higher export prices and optimization of costs. The company's EBITDA for the first quarter grew to LTL 91 million, up from LTL 52.9 million in the same period last year. The group's consolidated revenue for the first quarter jumped by 15.4 percent year-on-year to LTL 359.2 million.

Lithuanian company Linas picks new heads
Lithuanian investment company Linas, the owner of the linen textile manufacturer Linas Nordic, has picked its chairman and co-owner Ramunas Lenciauskas as its new chief executive officer. He succeeds to Lilijana Puriene, who will continue as CEO of Linas Nordic, Linas has said in a statement. "It is just too complicated to be the director of two companies, and the chairman assumed responsibility as Linas' director," Puriene said. The audited net profit of Linas group made up LTL 526,000 in 2007, up from the losses of LTL 3.95 million a year earlier.

The meeting of general shareholders of VST called off
The general shareholders meeting of Lithuania's VST, the power grid operator controlled by private equity NDX Energija, was called off on Friday due to the absence of quorum. The decisions of VST shareholders would depend on those passed by the shareholders of NDX Energija, Ignas Staskevicius, NDX Energija CEO, said. "We have not come to the meeting since we are getting ready for our shareholders meeting, which will take place on Monday, where I will submit draft agreements on the establishment of Leo LT [Lithuania's national investor company]. I believe that the decisions of VST shareholders will depend on those of NDX Energija owners," Staskevicius said. As reported earlier, the board of VST, the operator of the western half of Lithuania's national power grid, recommended to the shareholders to forgo dividends for 2007 and carry the total amount of distributable profit, i.e. LTL 620.611 million forward to the following year. In 2007 the unaudited net profit of the company made up LTL 67.244 million.

Friday, 18th of April

Snaige targets growth in annual sales
Snaige, the only refrigerator manufacturer in the Baltics, targets a 7 percent growth in annual sales and expects to return to profit this year, the company said on Thursday.
Snaige CEO Gediminas Ceika said at a news conference that the company posted a rise of about 5 percent in sales for the first quarter. "This year we are implementing many programs which will help us reduce costs and improve operations. Also, we hedged ourselves against currency risks and are increasing refrigerator sales and, subsequently, revenue," said Ceika, who took over as CEO of Snaige at the start of this year. "As soon as next year, we expect our Kaliningrad plant to reach its maximum capacity of 300,000 units per year. In the medium-term, in 2010-2011, we are thinking of increasing the capacity of the Alytus plant from 500,000 to 650,000 units," he said. The company is pinning high hopes on the planned introduction of state-of-the art "no-frost" technologies at its plant in Alytus, in southern Lithuania, in 2009.
Respublika, Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Future of the shopping centre Gedimino 9
Irish company Duke House Asset Managers and other Irish businessmen have decided against the selling of Vilnius mall Gedimino 9, which has eaten up more than LTL 120 million in investments. However, Duke House Asset Managers would shun from any more investments into real estate projects in Lithuania in the nearest time. "As requested by Irish investors, we offered Gedimino 9 to several other investors. However, we decided against the sale as a result of present situation on the real estate market, which is not quite favourable," Bernard F. Hamilton, a managing partner with Duke House Asset Managers, said during a news conference on Thursday. Irish media earlier reported that the sale price of Vilnius-based mall was put at EUR 100 million, and the new owner was to take over at least a 50 percent stake. The Gedimino 9 mall was opened in April 2007 after a year and a half of renovation and welcomed approximately 2 million visitors in its first year of operations.

ZIA Valda Real Estate suspends projects in Turkey
ZIA Valda Real Estate (ZIA Real), a real estate agency owned by the Lithuanian investment group ZIA Valda, said on Thursday that it has temporarily suspended property sale projects in Turkey due to an unclear legal situation in the country.
"The agency expects that the Turkish parliament will solve the legal problem in the near future. However, in order to ensure that customers' investments are safe, it will not offer to sell them any property in Turkey for now," ZIA Real said in a press release. The decision came after the Turkish Constitutional Court's ruling annulling a law regulating property sales to foreigners went into effect on Wednesday, freezing property sales to foreigners. The agency's deputy director, Gintare Mikucionyte, said that they will resume property sales as soon as the Turkish parliament removes obstacles for foreigners to buy real estate.
Lietuvos Rytas

Thursday, 17th of April

Disruptions in Ignalina Power Plant
One of two turbines of the sole running unit of Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) switched off automatically at 2:50 p.m. on Wednesday. The switch-off did not result in any fire or visible damage. All personnel was unharmed and the radiation level was unchanged, Viktor Shevaldin, INPP CEO, said. The switch-off was probably triggered by the disturbances in electricity supply, he added. A special commission has already launched the investigation of the incident. As soon as the causes are known, the turbine will be switched on. Lithuania launched imports of electricity from Russia and Latvia after the switch-off of one of two turbines of the sole running unit of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP). Moreover, the Kruonis hydroelectric pumped storage power plant (HPSP) was started up to cover the shortage of electricity.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Kauno Diena, Respublika

Banks post their profits
Lithuanian banks posted LTL 1.156 billion in aggregate net profits for 2007, up 73.3 percent from LTL 667 million in 2006, according to audited data published by the Bank of Lithuania on Wednesday. Last year was the sixth successive year of profit growth for the Lithuanian banking system, the central bank said. The audited result for 2007 is slightly higher than the earlier reported pre-audit figure of LTL 1.154 billion. All banks ended the year in the black, with the exception of Balti Investment Grupi Bank and MP Investment Bank, which posted LTL 4.1 million and LTL 1.1 million in losses, respectively. Both banks started their operations in Lithuania last year. SEB Vilniaus Bankas was the most profitable bank in 2007 with a net profit of LTL 496.1 million, up from LTL 285.5 million in 2006.
Verslo Zinios, Respubika

Forecasts on consumer prices
Consumer prices in Lithuania are forecast to rise by 0.8 percent in April compared with March, the country's Statistics Department reported on Wednesday. The annual inflation rate is forecast at 11.36 percent this month and the average annual inflation rate at 7.97 percent, it said. "We see price rises in all groups but communications. In some groups, the rises are very slight," Bronislava Kaminskiene, head of the department's Methodology and Quality Unit, said. Kaminskiene said that rising prices for tobacco products, clothing and footwear, and foodstuffs were having the largest impact on April's consumer price index.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

Wednesday, 16th of April

Changes in positions
Lithuania's flagship carrier FlyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines has appointed Vytautas Kaikaris, current marketing director at Bite Lietuva telecommunications company, as its new CEO, effective from May 5. Tadas Puksta, incumbent CEO of FlyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines, will move to oversee the implementation of company's strategy in foreign markets and represent the carrier in cooperation with various Lithuania's and foreign institutions, FlyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines has said in a statement. After several promotions Kaikaris was appointed as marketing director of Bite Lietuva in November 2007.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Leading construction company plans to pay dividends
Panevezio Statybos Trestas (PST), one of Lithuania's leading construction companies, plans to pay a dividend of LTL 0.23 per share to shareholders for 2007. PST's board proposes to set aside a total of LTL 3.76 million for the dividend payment, the company said on Tuesday. It said shareholders would be asked to vote on the dividend proposal at their general meeting to be held on April 25.

Grigiskes considers to pay dividends
Grigiskes, the largest Lithuania's hardboard and toilet paper manufacturer, aims to pay LTL 2 million, or LTL 0.05 per share, in dividends for 2007. The shareholders will vote on a respective board's proposal at the general meeting due on April 25. The shareholders will also be asked to approve the raising of authorized capital by LTL 20.043 million, to LTL 60 million, from current LTL 39.956 million, using retained earnings. New shares would be distributed among current shareholders pro rata their interest. Ginvildos Investicija is the largest single shareholder of Grigiskes with a 47.29 percent stake. Rosemount Holdings holds 8.9 percent of the company, while Dailius Juozapas Miseikis, one of shareholders of the investment house Invalda, controls a 5.37 percent stake.
Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 15th of April

Anyksciai Wine posts figures
Anyksciu Vynas (Anyksciai Wine), the leading Lithuania's wine maker which posted LTL 727,000 in net profit for 2007, intends to forgo dividends for last year. The board will propose to the shareholders' meeting due on Apr. 25 to carry the accrued losses of LTL 9.892 million forward to the subsequent business year. Moreover, the meeting will be asked to reappoint Vytautas Junevicius, Alita CEO, Vilmantas Peciura, Alita's CFO, Arvydas Jonas Stankevicius, Alita's production director, and Darius Vezelis, Alita's marketing and sales director, to Anyksciu Vynas board. The wine maker reported LTL 46.565 million in revenues for full 2007, up 38 percent from the year-earlier, as the net profit plunged 2.9 times, year-on-year, to LTL 727,000.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Maxima's sales
Baltic retail giant Maxima said on Monday that its first-quarter sales in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Bulgaria rose by 34 percent from a year earlier to LTL 2.29 billion. Maxima LT, the group's Lithuanian unit, posted a 35 percent increase in first-quarter sales to LTL 1.47 billion and Maxima Latvia, the Latvian chain, raised sales by 25.8 percent to LTL 560 million. Maxima Eesti, the Estonian unit, saw first-quarter sales climb by almost 55 percent to LTL 211 million and Maxima Bulgaria registered a one-third increase in sales to LTL 49 million, the group said in a press release.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Stumbras reports pre tax profit
Stumbras, Lithuania's largest strong alcoholic beverage producer, reported on Monday a pre-tax profit of LTL 7.2 million for the first quarter of this year, a rise of 0.2 percent year-on-year. Stumbras said in a press release that its first-quarter sales fell by 4.6 percent from a year earlier to LTL 27.82 million. The Kaunas-based beverage producer earlier posted a 3.3 percent drop to LTL 16.82 million in sales for January-February. The company then said that buyers needed more time to get used to increased prices for drinks due to a rise in the excise tax rate. Stumbras' annual net profit soared by 76.9 percent to LTL 32.767 million last year as sales jumped by 65.3 percent to LTL 168.511 million.
Verslo Zinios

Monday, 14th of April

Prices for raw milk paid by dairy companies decline
The prices of raw milk as paid by dairy companies declined by 9.4 percent in Lithuania in March versus February. However, compared with March 2007, raw milk prices soared by 33 percent, the Agriculture Ministry reported. However, compared with March 2007, raw milk prices soared by 33 percent, the Agriculture Ministry reported. The average natural milk purchase price made up LTL 1,009.8 per ton in March. In the first quarter, the average price was LTL 1,087.9 per ton, up 43.2 percent year-on-year. In March alone, milk purchases grew by 4.55 percent, year-on-year, to 93,250 tons. First-quarter milk purchase volumes increased by 3.5 percent versus the year-earlier, to 270,430 tons.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Teo LT enjoys the number of clients
Teo LT attracted more than 3,000 viewers of digital terraneous television ( Digital GALA) during the first month. Teo plans increasing the number of viewers up to 120,000 until 2012. Nerijus Ivanauskas, head of service development and marketing in Teo LT, says that the company is satisfied with the results. The viewers of Digital GALA can watch 3 channels; soon they will be able to watch even more. The monthly payment for Digital GALA services is LTL 29, while the special appendage is free of charge for those who sign three-year contract. Teo LT also provides IPTV (Interactive GALA) services from October of 2006. It is meant for clients who enjoy interactive services. The number of this television has exceeded 26,000 of viewers already.
Verslo Zinios

Negotiations with the EU
The daily Verslo Zin Colr ios reports that Brussels' officials insist there are no chances to extend the lifespan of the second unit of Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP). Meanwhile, Lithuania's ambassador Aleksandras Abisala said after the meetings with European Commission (EC) officials that, in his understanding, they had not been informed about the problems due to emerge after the closure of INPP in full. After the meeting with the EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs Abisala said that he had urged the Commission to use the database, which was applied by Lithuania's governmental commission, for the assessment of true problems due to hit Lithuania after the shutdown of INPP.
Verslo Zinios

Previous weeks:

Back to Baltic Business Monitor
Archives 2003-

 TERMS & CONDITIONS / KÄYTTÖOIKEUDET. © Oy Compiler Ab. All rights reserved.