Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 21/2009

Saturday, 23rd of May

The market of communications declines
Lithuania's electronic communications market as measured by revenues shrank by 5.7 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 713 million in the first three months of this year. Compared with the previous quarter, the market contracted by 9 percent in January-March. Investments into electronic communications network infrastructure declined by 12 percent, compared with the final quarter of 2008, to LTL 70 million in the reporting period.
Lietuvos Rytas

Products become cheaper
The purchase prices of agricultural products plunged by 26.4 percent in Lithuania in April compared with April 2008, the Statistics Department reported on Friday. The prices of crop sector products plummeted by 36.6 percent over the year, while the prices of livestock and stockbreeding products went down by 18.5 percent, it said.
Lietuvos Rytas

Complaints and threats in the gathering of farmers
Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius arrived at the gathering of farmers and informed farmers that the excises of fuel will be debated in June but he could not promise better changes for consumers. The rising prices of fuel are one of the biggest problems for farmers. Kubilius also claimed that taxes will not be decreased as it is requested.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Lietuvos zinios

Friday, 22nd of May

By 18 percent less
Klaipedos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil), the state-own oil products terminal, posted LTL 7.415 million in unaudited net profit for the first three months of this year, down 18.2 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 9.059 million. Three-month sales shrank by 10.7 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 29.226 million, Klaipedos Nafta said in its first-quarter report. Reloading volumes contracted by 11 percent, to 1.949 million tons of petroleum products as the flow of fuel oil from Belarus' and Russia's refineries diminished. The terminal, however, sticks to its full-year forecasts and sees its pretax profit plummeting by 2.8 times, to LTL 11.9 million this year. Revenues should decline by 16.7 percent versus 2008, to LTL 99.64 million. Lietuvos Rytas

Will not distribute bonds
Lithuania's Siauliu Bankas, which is controlled by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a group of local investors, has dropped plans to issue a convertible bond and sell the issue to an unnamed investor. Alternative possibilities of increasing the bank's capital, acceptable to both parties, emerged during negotiations with the investor, Siauliu Bankas said in a statement to the NASDAQ OMX Vilnius stock exchange on Thursday. Therefore, the bank's management board has canceled a shareholder meeting set for June 2 to vote on the proposed bond issue. The bank's shares, closed at LTL 0.74 on Thursday. The nominal value of one share is LTL 1.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Output falls
Lithuania's industrial output and sales fell by 16.9 percent in the first four months of this year compared with the same period a year ago, the Statistics Department reported on Thursday. In April alone, the country's industrial output dropped by 25.5 percent compared with a year ago and was down by 4.4 percent compared with March. In January through April year-on-year, the mining and quarrying and the manufacturing sectors declined by 18.7 percent. The mining and quarrying sector alone recorded a 37.6 percent drop. The manufacturing sector fell by 18.5 percent; excluding refined petroleum products, the sector's output was down by 22 percent.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios

Thursday, 21st of May

Rejected progressive taxes
The Lithuanian Cabinet on Wednesday rejected a proposal from the Social Democrats to introduce progressive taxes. The Cabinet's opinion will be submitted to the Seimas (Lithuania's parliament). The Seimas has launched debates on a proposal, put forward by Social Democratic MP Algirdas Sysas, to introduce a progressive income tax with four tax rates. The lawmaker proposes to apply a tax rate of 14 to 15 percent on annual income under LTL 24,000, of 18 percent on LTL 24,000 up to LTL 60,000, of 25 percent on 60,000 up to LTL 120,000, and of 40 percent on higher income. The Finance Ministry says that the introduction of the progressive tax would result in a budget revenue loss of LTL 255 million.
Verslo Zinios

Agreed about debts
Agrowill Group, the largest Lithuania's agricultural investment company, says it has agreed with the majority of owners of its bonds worth LTL 2.6 million which the company defaulted earlier this year. The notes will be redeemed by 2011 in equal twice-monthly payments and under the annual interest of 18 percent. "During talks with bond owners we have reached important agreements on the terms of redemption which are acceptable to both our company and the creditors. This result proves that the buyers of our bonds understand the situation on the market and support our proposals to find a real way out," Mindaugas Juozaitis, Agrowill Group CEO, said in a statement.
Lietuvos Rytas

Suffered losses
Lithuania's natural gas import and distribution company Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas) posted LTL 29.3 million in unaudited consolidated net profit for the first three months of this year, down 45.4 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 53.7 million. Consolidated sales, meanwhile, rose by 4.9 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 528.4 million in January-March. The company's EBITDA declined by 28.8 percent, to LTL 61.5 million, while the consolidated pretax profit plunged by 40.3 percent, to LTL 38 million. Three-month investments made up LTL 39.8 million, up 4.7 times from the year-earlier figure of LTL 8.4 million.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 20th of May

Borrowed again
The Lithuanian Finance Ministry has raised another EUR 11.92 million via private placement raising the issue of euro-denominated government securities placed on April 15 to EUR 78.571 million. The Central Securities Depository of Lithuania on Tuesday registered the increased issue, falling due on May 20, 2010. No information is available as to who purchased the securities. As part of the state budget deficit financing plan, the Finance Ministry raised LTL 1.403 billion via private placements in the local market and borrowed another LTL 587 million in foreign markets in January-April.
Lietuvos Rytas

Company doubled
City Service, the Baltics' leading property maintenance and administration services provider, is buying 80 percent stakes in six apartment block maintenance companies in Russia's second-biggest city of St. Petersburg for RUB 185.5 million Russian. City Service on May 15 a won a privatization auction for the six companies and is now in talks with the city's authorities on the acquisition of the shares, the Vilnius-based company said in a statement to the NASDAQ OMX Vilnius stock exchange on Tuesday. The company expects to sign purchase agreements this week. The total area of buildings serviced by the six companies amounts to over 10 million square meters. The acquisitions will bring to almost 24 million square meters the total area of buildings managed by the City Service Group in the Baltic countries and Russia.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Will carry the president
Aeroservisas, Lithuania's aviation services intermediary company, has been chosen to provide charter flights services to the President's Office. The price bid by Aeroservisas was lower than that of another bidder, charter flights company FlyLAL Charters, which is part of Lithuania's aviation group Avia Solutions Group, Aurika Grozova, chief specialist at the Assets Management Division of the President's Office said. The tender was announced repeatedly as the winner of the previous tender - FlyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines - grounded all flights amid financial troubles on January 17. Aeroservisas, which owns no aircraft, rendered charter flight services to the delegations of President Valdas Adamkus on some occasions last year.
Lietuvos Zinios

Tuesday, 19th of May

Blesses the withdrawal
Shares in Lithuania's financially-troubled refrigerator manufacturer Snaige will be moved from the blue-chip Main List to the Secondary List of the NASDAQ OMX Vilnius stock exchange on Jun. 1, at the company's request. The NASDAQ OMX Vilnius board took the decision on Monday, the bourse said. Snaige in early April failed to redeem a 367-day convertible bond issue with a nominal value of LTL 20 million. The refrigerator manufacturer has posted LTL 24.1 million in consolidated losses for 2008, up from consolidated losses of LTL 11.726 million a year earlier. Consolidated revenue last year declined by 17.4 percent to LTL 338.867 million.
Verslo Zinios

Expects deflation
Consumer prices in Lithuania should ease by 0.1 percent on a harmonized basis in May from April, the country's Statistics Department forecasts. Annual inflation is expected to reach 5 percent and the twelve-month average - 9.3 percent. The growth of prices in the spirits and tobacco group should continue in May as a result of an increase of excise duty on cigarettes on March 1. Overall growth of prices should be offset somewhat by the declines of prices of foodstuffs, clothing and footwear. Changes of prices in other groups of goods and services should be minor, the department projects. As reported by the department earlier this month, consumer prices declined by 0.1 percent in Lithuania in April from March. The annual inflation was 6.3 percent, and the twelve-month average - 9.9 percent.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios, Respublika

6.400 people have become unemployed
Another 6,400 people were registered as unemployed in Lithuania last week, down 11 percent from 7,200 people registered a week earlier, the country's Labor Exchange said on Monday. The total number of people with the status of an unemployed person reached 189,600 as of May 15 (up from 187,600 a week earlier), which accounted for 8.9 percent of the working age population. The number of registered job vacancies increased to 1,481 in May 8 through May 15, up 3 percent compared with the previous week.
Lietuvos Rytas

Monday, 18th of May

Snaige leaves
Financially-troubled Snaige, the sole Baltic household refrigerator producer, has applied to the NASDAQ OMX Vilnius Stock Exchange for the transfer of its listing to the I-List, from the Main List. The company said that a respective application was submitted on Friday. Snaige posted LTL 24.1 million in consolidated audited losses for 2008, up 2.06 times from the year-earlier consolidated losses of LTL 11.726 million. Consolidated turnover declined by 17.4 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 338.867 million last year. As of late 2008, the company's major shareholders included customers of Estonia's Hansabank with a 43.17 percent stake, as well as Survesta, a company controlled by Hermis Capital, with 25.3 percent, and Skandinaviska Enskilda's customers with 17.42 percent.
Verslo Zinios

Loss-making activity
Lithuania's power transmission operator Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), a subsidiary of national energy company Leo LT, posted LTL 29.6 million in unaudited net losses for the first three months of this year, reversing the year-earlier net profit of LTL 48.9 million. Three-month revenues rose by 17 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 420.1 million, the company said in a statement to the NASDAQ OMX Vilnius Stock Exchange. Lietuvos Energija transmitted 2.516 billion kWh of electricity for domestic needs in January-March, down 8.2 percent, year-on-year. Electricity exports rose by 48 percent, to 0.934 billion kWh.
Verslo Zinios

The revenues of Lifosa dropped by 62.44 percent
Lithuania's phosphate fertilizer manufacturer Lifosa posted LTL 69.719 million in sales in April, down 2.7 times compared with the year-earlier figure of LTL 185.611 million. The sales of diammonium phosphate, Lifosa's main product, declined by 22.7 percent from a year earlier, to 67,990 tons last month. Revenues from diammonium phosphate sales plunged by 2.7 times, to LTL 61.951 million. Four-month sales made up LTL 346.32 million, down 1.5 times from the year-earlier figure of LTL 517.1 million. Lifosa posted LTL 237.231 million in audited net profit for 2008, up 7.3 percent year-on-year.
Verslo Zinios

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