Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 23/2009

Saturday, 6th of June

Fights made alcohol drinks cheaper
Supermarkets started to reduce prices not only of milk products but also of alcohol drinks. However, the companies, producing alcohol drinks, were not very optimistic about it. The first supermarket which reduced prices was Norfa and then other supermarkets did the same. Alcohol producers claimed that they did not have a possibility to reduce prices themselves since stock have not become cheaper recently.
Lietuvos Rytas

It is tried to supplement a budget
It was collected LTL 17 million more than planned this May; this has happened for the first time this year. However, State Social Insurance Fund Board (SODRA) spent LTL 250 million more than it was planned in May; the deficit of SODRA has already been LTL 1.2 billion. Jekaterina Rojak, the analyst of finances of DnB Nord bank, claims that the income of SODRA is reducing because the number of the unemployed is rising and working people’s wages are declining.
Lietuvos Rytas

Among antirecord-holders
In comparison with last April, retail trade declined by 19.5% in Lithuania this April. The biggest decline among EU members was in Latvia, which was 29.6%. The turnover of retail trade rose by 3.7% in Sweden, which is the highest percent among EU members. The turnover in the EU declined by 1.4% this year but it rose by 0.5% in a month.
Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 5th of June

Profit of insurers
Lithuanian-registered insurance companies have posted LTL 55.864 million in aggregate net profits for the first quarter of this year, more than a twofold increase from LTL 25.35 million a year ago, the Insurance Supervisory Commission (ISC) reported on Thursday. The sector's first-quarter profits from insurance operations reached LTL 32.3 million, with another LTL 27.5 million coming from investment activities, it said. Year-on-year, non-life insurers recorded a 90.7 percent increase in first-quarter net profits to LTL 40.321 million and life insurers saw their net profits go up by 3.7 percent to LTL 15.543 million. Investment activities generated LTL 17.5 million in net profits for non-life insurers and LTL 10 million for life insurers. The supervisory authority attributed the improved result from investment activities to positive changes in financial markets in March and a decline in market interest rates compared with late 2008.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

The government wishes for more power of Leo LT
Special-purpose governmental task group has proposed to raise the state's interest in Lithuania's national energy company Leo LT to at least 66 percent thus conferring more powers to the government to make decisions on the future of the company. The government then could decide to use the assets of Leo LT for the financing of planned construction of a new nuclear power plant and power links, or to reorganize the company. The Cabinet will consider the conclusions of the task group, as well as proposed legislative amendments, next week. The construction of new nuclear facility and power links with Poland and Sweden is expected to be handed over to public companies, some shares of which could be assigned to the companies controlled by Estonia, Latvia and Poland.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

The planes of flyLAL are not rusting
Lithuania's aviation business group Avia Solutions Group has begun to provide charter flight services to Italy's tour operator Aeroservizi. Avia Solutions Group's Boeing 737-300 with a Lithuanian crew will carry foreign tourists to destinations in Greece, Spain and Italy. Technical maintenance of the aircraft will be provided in Milan, the group said in a press release. "We are intensively expanding our presence both to Eastern and Western countries and are building new business partnerships. Demand for charter flights has increased with the start of the summer season. We expect to extend this cooperation agreement to the winter season," Avia Solutions Group CEO Linas Dovydenas said. The group in April established a charter flight company in Estonia. It carries passengers and cargo from Estonia to European, Asian and African regions.
Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 4th of June

Will repair for one month
Scheduled maintenance of Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) this year has been extended to one month, from earlier planned 15 days. The facility had already submitted an application on one-month maintenance to Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), the Lithuanian power transmission system operator, INPP CEO Viktor Shevaldin said. "Ignalina N-plant will be stopped for a month's maintenance - it should remain idle from August 29 till September 27," Shevaldin said. Initially the maintenance was planned to last from August 29 till September 13. However, the maintenance staff would not be able to carry out all scheduled procedures in two weeks, INPP CEO explained. The first unit of INPP, which is considered unsafe by the West, was closed on December 31, 2004. In line with Lithuania's pre-accession commitments to the European Union (EU), the second reactor shall be shut down at the end of this year.
Lietuvos Rytas

Snoras invests into media
Lithuanian bank Snoras, which is owned by two private individuals, plans to establish a subsidiary company for financial investments under the name of Snoro Media Investicijos. "Currently, the market offers more good opportunities for investing in shares of companies in the information business. We have received various proposals from companies operating in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia," Naglis Stancikas, the board chairman and CEO of Snoro Media Investicijos, said in a press release on Wednesday. "We are now analyzing information and considering several possibilities," he said. Stancikas is the first vice-chairman of Snoras, which will own 100 percent of shares in the new company.
Verslo Zinios

Completed new issue
Apranga, the leading clothing retailer in the Baltics, said on Wednesday that it has successfully completed a new share issue worth LTL 20 million. The company will use the money to redeem a 20-million-litas bond issue falling due this month. The new share issue was nearly three times oversubscribed with approximately 57.642 million shares subscribed for by shareholders. Part of the new shares, 16.955 million, were subscribed for by shareholders who executed their pre-emption rights. Another 40.687 million shares were applied for during an additional subscription period. The latter shareholders will receive one share for 14 shares they applied for.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 3rd of June

The losses of post
Lithuania's state postal operator Lietuvos Pastas (Lithuanian Post) suffered a loss of LTL 28.618 million in 2008, as revenue fell by nearly 2 percent to LTL 224.219 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were a negative LTL 15.984 million and EBITDA margin was a negative 7.1 percent, according to the company's audited annual financial statements for 2008. Lietuvos Pastas' investments reached LTL 25.7 million last year. The postal operator, which is 100 percent owned by the state, has posted a loss of LTL 8.7 million for the first quarter of this year.
Lietuvos Rytas

Are flying less
Vilnius International Airport, the largest in Lithuania, handled 470,900 passengers in the first five months of this year, down 39.4 percent versus the year-earlier figure. In May alone, the passenger traffic plunged by 41.6 percent, year-on-year, to 112,580, the airport's spokeswoman Gabriele Vasiliauskaite said. However, last month the traffic rose by 14.2 percent compared with the April figure of 98,580, she added.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Debt is rapidly growing
The Lithuanian government has raised LTL 3.291 million though its first issue of savings notes, with most of the notes sold to private individuals. The issue, carrying an annual interest rate of 7.05 percent, was launched on May 19 and closed on Jun. 1. A total of 471 transactions were concluded during this period, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday. "We view the results of the first savings notes issue as a good start. On Tuesday we are launching a second issue and expect growing interest in savings notes as one more investment opportunity," Finance Minister Algirdas Semeta said in a press release. The second issue of retail government securities carries an annual interest rate of 7.03 percent.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios

Tuesday, 2nd of June

Market is still frozen
New car registrations in Lithuania plummeted by 71 percent, year-on-year, to 3,890 units in January-May, the car market researcher Autotyrimai reported on Monday. In May alone, the number of new cars registered plunged by 69 percent versus May 2008, to 754. Last month the top three makes by sales included Toyota with 245 cars registered, Volkswagen (49) and Ford (48). Mercedes-Benz was the first in the premium segment with 18 new cars registered.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

The sales fell by one fifth
Apranga, the leading clothing retailer in the Baltics, on Monday reported sales of LTL 155.6 million for the first five months of this year, a decline of 20.9 percent compared with a year ago. Sales for May dropped by 14.6 percent year-on-year to LTL 30.8 million, it said. The chain's sales in Lithuania last month fell by 11.9 percent. Sales in Latvia declined by 24.1 percent and Estonian sales were down by 6.8 percent. The group's annual net profit slumped by 46 percent last year to LTL 13.784 million. Full-year sales rose by 13.5 percent to LTL 418.622 million.
Verslo Zinios

Suffered losses
Lithuania's national railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) suffered about LTL 12 million in losses in January-April, including about LTL 7 million in the first quarter alone, the company's representatives reported. The profit of the railway operator totaled LTL 112 million in January-April 2008. Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai posted LTL 109.7 million in net profit for full 2008, down 18 percent from the 2007 figure of LTL 133.6 million.
Lietuvos Rytas

Monday, 1st of June

Lifosa confirmed losses
Lithuania's phosphate fertilizer manufacturer Lifosa has revised its first-quarter unaudited net losses downward to LTL 7.713 million, from previously announced LTL 11.931 million. The loss was reduced by LTL 4.218 million via the reversal of impairment losses and carrying of this difference forward to the performance results of April 2009, Lifosa said in a statement to the NASDAQ OMX Vilnius Stock Exchange. Lifosa's net profit made up LTL 70.285 million in January-March 2008. Russia's Eurochem owns a 91.15 percent stake in Lifosa, which is quoted on the I-List of NASDAQ OMX Vilnius Stock Exchange, and controls another 3.65 percent of shares through an offshore company, Eurochem A.M.
Verslo Zinios

Portfolio has shrank
The aggregate loan portfolio of Lithuanian banks contracted by LTL 467.3 million, month-on-month, to LTL 68.371 billion in April, Lithuanian Banks’ Association reported. According to the Association, both natural bodies and legal entities, except for municipalities and state-run companies, have reduced their liabilities within the last month.
Verslo Zinios

Nabukas’ bankruptcy
Kitchen furniture maker Nabukas’ bankruptcy case will be analyzed in Vilnius District Court on Thursday. Nabukas, former subsidiary of Narbutas ir Ko, survived only a month after the bankruptcy of its owner. Narbutas ir Ko went bankrupt on May 8.UAB of Narbutas ir Ko sold kitchen furniture business to Libros Holdingas back in 2004. The latter company sold the shares to the company’s owners at a price of LTL 1 in February 2009.
Verslo Zinios

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