Observer "Lietuva"
Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 23.2008

Saturday, 7th of June

Mail and courier services market grows
The Lithuanian mail and courier services market, as measured by revenue, grew by 19.6 percent in the first three months of this year, to LTL 62.9 million l, the Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT) reported on Friday. The courier services segment soared by 25.1 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 38.3 million. The post services segment, meanwhile, expanded by 11.9 percent, to LTL 24.6 million. Respublika

Spendings abroad of Lithuanian residents
Lithuanian residents spent a total of LTL 355.2 million in foreign countries in the first quarter of this year, a decline of 16.2 percent year-on-year, the Economy Ministry said in a report on Friday. The country's incoming tourism revenues fell by 10.7 percent over the reporting period to LTL 350.3 million, according to the ministry's latest Economic Overview, which cites preliminary data from the Bank of Lithuania. Based on revised data for the full year 2007, spending by Lithuanian residents abroad rose by 15.5 percent last year to nearly LTL 2.88 billion and spending by foreigners in Lithuania increased by 1.9 percent to LTL 2.9 billion.
Kauno Diena

Producer prices soar
Lithuanian producer prices soared by 20.7 percent in May versus the year-earlier, the Statistics Department reported on Friday. Compared with April, the producer prices increased by 2.9 percent. Last month. Excluding petroleum products, the annual rise was 15 percent, and the monthly one - 1.3 percent, the department said. In the mining and quarrying, the producer prices soared by 35.9 percent in May year-on-year and grew by 7 percent from April. In the manufacturing, the producer prices surged by 20.6 percent over a year and 3.2 percent over a month. In the utilities sector, the producer prices grew by 20 percent versus May 2007 and by 1 percent from April.

Friday, 6th of June

Lithuania's unemployment rate dips by 0.1 percent
Lithuania's unemployment rate dipped by 0.1 percentage point versus April, to 4.5 percent in Lithuania in May, the Labor Exchange reported on Thursday. A total of 96,850 people were registered unemployed at the end of May, of which 56.4 percent were women and 43.6 percent were men. Almost 90,000 jobseekers registered with the Labor Exchange in the first five months of this year, up 12,200 compared with the year-earlier figure.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios, Respublika

Rokiskis Cheese reports sales
Rokiskio Suris (Rokiskis Cheese) group, the leading Lithuania's dairy group, reported LTL 247.983 million in consolidated sales for the first five months of this year, down 2.26 percent year-on-year. In May alone, the sales of the group declined by 5.07percent from the year-earlier, to LTL 59.534 million, Rokiskio Suris said in a statement. The dairy group posted LTL 9.492 million in losses for the first quarter of this year, reversing the year-earlier consolidated net profit of LTL 3.514 million. The group sees its consolidated turnover growing by 5.7 percent, to some LTL 700 million this year.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika

Agrowill Group will launch LTL 16 million per value issue of one year bonds
Agrowill Group, Lithuania's largest agricultural investment company, will launch a LTL 16 million per value issue of one-year bonds on Friday, June 6. The Securities Commission approved the issue prospectus on Thursday, the panel said in a statement. The group will channel the receipts on the issue for the financing of its operations. Earlier this month Agrowill Group raised LTL 10.65 million through a private offering of six-month discount notes and used the receipts for the purchase of Estonia's milk company Polva Agro. In 2008 the consolidated revenues of Agrowill Group on core activities are seen growing by 36 percent to LTL 58 million. The net profit is expected to increase by almost 20 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 11.5 million.
Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 5th of June

Changes in Hansabank
Giedrius Dusevicius, current chairman of Lithuania's commercial bank Hansabankas, has been appointed to head new Baltic business development unit of Sweden's Swedbank group. Antanas Danys, head of retail banking division, will replace Dusevicius as Hansabankas' chairman on June 25, the bank has said in a press release. "The upcoming period will be very interesting in Lithuania's banking sector. Moreover, together with a new brand Swedbank aims to become the finance group offering the best service. Hence, this new task - to head a bank in Lithuania - is a big challenge for me," the statement quoted Danys as saying. Swedbank's Baltic business development unit is being established in order to improve the efficiency of coordination of products development processes and apply the best practice effectively in all three Baltic countries and the whole Swedbank group.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Agrowill Group signs a deal with Polva Agro
Agrowill Group, Lithuania's largest agricultural investment company, signed on Wednesday a deal to buy Polva Agro, one of the biggest milk producers in Estonia.
The Lithuanian company said in a press release that it expected to finalize the transaction on June 30. Agrowill Group CEO Valentas Sulskis would not disclose the price his company is paying for the Estonian firm, citing confidentiality clauses. Agrowill Group said it would use its own resources and the proceeds from a bond sale, as well as bank loans, to finance the acquisition. The investment bank GILD was the company's financial advisor in the deal.
Verslo Zinios

Internet in busses
International carrier Eurolines gears up to launch a new bus route LuxExpress, which will connect Klaipeda and Riga. Investments into the bus line, which will be the first ever in Lithuania with Internet on board and other conveniences, exceeded LTL 3 million. Eurolines will launch three daily runs along the route Klaipeda-Siauliai-Riga on Monday, June 9, the company has said in a statement. Investments into two new buses Scania Irizar made up some LTL 3 million. Moreover, the company ploughed LTL 110,000 into additional services.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Wednesday, 4th of June

Warnings for Lithuania
Active lending by the Nordic commercial banks in the Baltic region and tumbling property values at home have increased their "vulnerability" and raised the risk of losses, Sweden's central bank (Riksbank) has warned. "Although the Swedish banks have so far succeeded in resisting the financial turmoil relatively well, their vulnerability to other risks has increased,"' Governor Stefan Ingves said in a statement on the bank's Web site today. "Lending to companies and households in the Baltic countries is still a source of concern." Growth in the Baltic countries "is now slackening more quickly than expected,'' Ingves said. Swedbank, the largest bank in the Baltic region, generates a third of its earnings from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, while SEB, the second-largest lender, gets one-fifth of its operating profit there.
Lietuvos Rytas

The International Vilnius Airport diverts all night flights to other airports
The International Vilnius Airport has opted to divert all night flights to other airports as it has launched the reconstruction of runway. The reconstruction of 2.5 kilometers long runway involving the arrangement of additional protective zones is under way from 11:30 pm till 5 am. The project will be completed by early October, the airport has reported. The necessity for the reconstruction has emerged amid the influx of larger aircraft with powerful engines at the airport. All carriers offering flights from Vilnius have been notified about its closure for night flights.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika, Kauno Diena

Agrowill Group raises LTL 10.65 million
Agrowill Group, Lithuania's largest agricultural investment company, has raised LTL 10.65 million through a private offering of six-month discount notes. Agrowill Group reported to the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE) on Tuesday that it would use the proceeds from the notes placement, completed on May 30, to finance its investment projects. The sale was handled by Orion Securities. Agrowill Group said it plans to purchase around 100,000 hectares of land in the so-called Black Earth region within a year or two. It intends to invest in Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 3rd of June

Alstom Power Sweden will be late
Alstom Power Sweden is unlikely to complete a 125-million-litas modernization project at the Kaunas Hydro Power Plant (HPP), built almost 50 years ago, until mid-2009, roughly a year and a half later than scheduled. The Swedes were to complete all work under the contract, which was signed in July 2005, by January 7, 2008 and are now facing fines for the delay, Kaunas HPP Director Juozas Bartlingis said on Monday. The first stage of the modernization project, which involves the renovation of two of the plant's four hydro units with a capacity of 25 megawatts each, is planned to be completed in late August or early September. The renovation of the remaining two units is to be completed next spring.
Verslo Zinios, Kauno Diena

Standard & Poor's rating
The international rating agency Standard & Poor's has affirmed the ratings of Lithuania's Snoras bank assigned back in March 2007. The long-term and short-term borrowing ratings had been affirmed at BB- and B, respectively, with a stable outlook, Snoras said in a statement. Among major strengths of Snoras bank the rating agency mentioned strong sources for raising funds, the widest customer service network in the country and high quality of the bank's assets.
Verslo Zinios

Apranga reports figures
Apranga, the leading clothing retailer in the Baltics, said on Monday that its consolidated sales for the first five months of this year rose by 28.8 percent from a year earlier to LTL 196.6 million. Monthly sales for May jumped by 18 percent year-on-year to LTL 36.1 million, the Vilnius-based company said. In the five months year-on-year, sales in Lithuania increased by 28.3 percent, in Latvia by 31.4 percent, and in Estonia by 25.1 percent, it said. The group has posted LTL 821,000 in consolidated net losses for the first quarter of this year, compared with LTL 4.469 million l in net profits for the same period last year.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika

Monday, 2nd of June

Lithuania's consumer confidence index fell
Lithuania's consumer confidence index slid to minus 16 points in May, from minus 10 points in April, the Statistics Department reported on Thursday. The index declined as a result of worsened expectations of Lithuania's economic development with more people expecting the economic situation to deteriorate and the number of jobless to grow in the upcoming 12-month period. Compared with May 2007, the consumer confidence index plunged by 24 points, largely as a result of worsened perception of the country's economic situation.

Grigiskes reported net profit
Grigiskes, the largest Lithuania's hardboard and toilet paper manufacturer, reported LTL 937,900 in consolidated net profit for the first three months of this year, down 25.7 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 1.262 million. Three-month consolidated sales of the group, which also includes the Baltwood subsidiary, rose by 15 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 39.241 million, Grigiskes said in a first quarter report. Last year the sales of the paper group increased by 20 percent, to LTL 144 million, while the pre-tax earnings shrank by almost 10 percent, to LTL 6.5 million.
Verslo Zinios

Agreement between IBM and Lietuvos Draudimas
US IT giant IBM Corporation intends to buy an IT systems service unit of Lietuvos Draudimas (Lithuanian Insurance), the leading Lithuania's non-life insurer. On Friday IBM filed an application on the purchase of a certain part of assets and business of Lietuvos Draudimas to Lithuania's competition panel. Ernesta Dapkiene, representative of Lietuvos Draudimas, noted that insurers had to provide insurance not IT services.
Lietuvos Rytas

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