Observer "Lietuva"

WEEK 26th

Saturday 28th of June, 2003

Ekranas to stop production in July
Panevezys-based producer of TV tubes will stop production in July and will release its employees on vacation. The company will be working in a full power beginning August 11.
Ekranas reported turnover of LTL 164.3 million for the first five months of this year, a decline of 18.6 percent if compared to the respective period in 2002 when the company posted turnover of LTL 201.8 million. In terms of number of TV tubes, Ekranas sold more production (1.5 million TV tubes) this year, an increase of 100 thousand TV tubes from 2002.
The company incurred a loss of LTL 5.9 million for the first quarter of this year.
(Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas)

Lithuanian road constructors find ways to the EU
Lithuanian road constructors are actively getting ready for works, money for which will come from the European Union. The sixth biggest Lithuanian road paving company in terms of turnover, Lemminkainen Lietuva, has invested LTL 6 million into the renovation of its equipment. The company bought an asphalt and concrete stirrer that produces 180 to 240 tons of asphalt per hour.
"We have to get ready, as a lot of work and money are going to come together with Lithuania's membership in the EU", the head of Lemminkainen Lietuva, Hugo Adder, says.
Lemminkainen Lietuva posted turnover of LTL 40 million for last year; this year the company expects to boost it up to LTL 52 million. Lemminkainen group is also operating in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Portugal. Last year, turnover of the group accounted for EUR 1.2 billion (LTL 4.14 billion).
(Lietuvos Rytas)

Minolta Baltia will attempt to sustain its leader's position
Beginning July, the former head of Minolta Baltia's Sales Department, Voldemaras Dudenas, will head the company. He will replace Rolandas Virsilas who has been appointed to the post of the head of Kalnapilis-Tauras group.
Last year, Minolta Baltia controlled 27 percent of the Lithuanian laser printer market. Moreover, the company was leading in terms of sales of copying machines; its turnover exceeded LTL 33 million in 2002.
Minolta Baltia posted turnover of LTL 12 million for the first five months of the year, a rise of 9 percent if compared to the respective period last year. The company has some 200 partners that distribute photo equipment to individual customers.
(Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika)

Friday 27th of June, 2003

Klaipeda transportation fleet to renew its ships
Tomorrow, shareholders of the transportation company Klaipedos Transporto Laivynas (Klaipeda transportation fleet or KTL) are planning to approve sales of the company's oldest ships-refrigerators. As of the end of 2002, the residual value of the ships made LTL 12.605 million.
Limarko launched the renovation process in KTL after it acquired 80.89 percent of the fleet's shares for LTL 48.7 million in May this year.
Income of KTL declined by 9.4 percent over the first five months of the year and accounted for LTL 30.708 million.
(Respublika)

Germans to buy Svoris
Revival Express Spedition Gmbh that belongs to the German group of logistics Interspe Hamann Group is to acquire the main share package at the Lithuanian capital group of logistics, Svoris.
The new owners of the Lithuanian company claim that Svoris that has achieved good position in the market will be able to compete with other larger logistics groups after the EU market is expanded.
Sigitas Klimasauskas, the president of Svoris, says that shareholders decided to sell the company considering the new labour conditions in the EU.
"Although we are pretty strong in Lithuania and the Baltic states, we would not be able to withstand the biggest logistics companies that will definitely notice the new EU frontier", Klimasauskas says.
Michael Mihm, the CEO of Revival Express Spedition Gmbh, says that they got interested in the successfully working Lithuanian company that achieved impressive results in the local market.
(Verslo Zinios)

Investment insurance is not popular during the first year
The investment life insurance services that have been offered in the Lithuanian market for four years made 32.8 percent (LTL 27.3 million) of the overall premiums signed in the life insurance market in January-May this year. In the respective period in 2002, the figure made almost 15 percent (LTL 7 million).
Insurers say that Lithuanian clients tend to choose lower risk investments; for example, 78 percent of Lietuvos Draudimas Gyvybes Draudimas' clients chose governmental securities and their investments' payback grew by 14.7 percent. 13 percent of the clients invested into shares of European companies and 7 percent chose shares of the US companies; investments to the funds declined by 14.6 and 16.9 percent respectively.
Commercial Union Lietuva presently invests 51 percent into the local fund, 29 percent go to the international one and 20 percent into the European fund.
(Verslo Zinios)

Thursday 26th of June, 2003

Explosions brought profit
Income of the single Lithuanian detonation company, Detonas, reached LTL 3.458 million last year, a rise of 7.5 percent if compared to 2001 when the figure made LTL 3.218 million.
Producers of dolomite chips and cement were the major clients of Detonas that employs some 80 people.
The authorised capital of Detonas accounts for LTL 2.928 million, the state controls 100 percent of the company's shares.
(Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas)

Hotels boosted Tekos Baldai
The furniture company UAB Tekos Baldai sold production for LTL 3 million over the first half-year of 2003, a rise of one-third if compared to the respective period last year. The company that mostly manufactures furniture for hotels has exported 40 percent of its production to Iceland, Germany and Norway this year.
Vincas Rudys, the executive director of Tekos Baldai, says that over the recent couple of years, the company has been actively searching for clients and participating in international fairs.
In 2002, Tekos Baldai exported 15 percent of its production. The Kretinga-based furniture company has decorated Centrum, Ecotel Vilnius, Europa, Holiday Inn, Navalis and other hotels.
(Verslo Zinios)

The Finnish construction company – for Panevezys
Panevezys-based company Panevezio Keliai that controls almost 50 percent of shares in the construction trust Panevezio Statybos Trestas, completed negotiations for acquisition of the Finnish capital company Skanska Statyba. This might be the first case when a company of Lithuanian capital buys a big company that belongs to foreign investors.
One of the largest European construction concerns, Skanska, has reported it would gradually withdraw from Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary.
Skanska Statyba presently has a contract worth LTL 32.5 million with the real estate development company Hanner for the construction of Europa trade centre in Vilnius. The company does not announce its annual turnover and other financial indices.
In 2002, Panevezio Keliai accomplished works for LTL 87.126 million and posted a net profit of LTL 6.224 million.
(Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios)

Wednesday 25th of June, 2003

Turnover of Markuciai increased last year
Vilnius-based company of construction materials, Markuciai, posted turnover of LTL 27.917 million for last year, a rise of 23.7 percent if compared to 2001 when the figure made LTL 22.563 million.
In 2002, Markuciai produced 112,700 tons of concrete and grout (13.5 percent more if compared to 2001) for LTL 15.337 million, a rise of LTL 13.8 percent.
The authorised capital of the company accounts for LTL 7.509 million.
(Verslo Zinios)

Microsoft has assessed Alna
The Lithuanian IT company Alna has been given a Microsoft's certificate that confirms that the projects created by the company's business solution centre are implemented under world standards. Alna was the first company to receive the certificate in the Baltic states.
In 2002, income from business management systems made LTL 9.13 million in Alna. This year, the company is planning to reach a pre-tax profit of LTL 3.4 million, a decline of 4.6 times if compared to 2002; the consolidated income of Alna is expected to grow by 11.3 percent up to LTL 130 million.
In the middle of last year, Alna sold its secondary company Navision Software Baltic and made a profit of LTL 10.984 million from the contract.
(Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika)

Traders often appear under the scythe of bankruptcy
According to the data provided by the Department of Statistics, 170.4 thousand juridical entities were included in the Register of Companies as of the beginning of the year. 95.5 thousand juridical entities were signed out by the date. Last year, they registered 9,184 juridical entities and signed out 6,135 ones.
Since 1993 to this year, 14 banks and 2,405 companies have turned bankrupt. In 2002, bankruptcy proceedings were started against 799 companies; the procedures were finished in 50 companies by the end of the year. Joint stock companies made 72.9 percent of the bankrupted companies while individual companies made 12.2 percent.
In 1993-2002, wholesale and retail trade companies made the largest number among bankrupted companies – 37.6 percent.
(Respublika)

Life insurance market is flourishing
The Lithuanian life insurance companies concluded contracts on LTL 83.2 million worth premiums over the first five months of 2003, an increase of 74.9 percent if compared to the respective period in 2002, the State Insurance Supervisory Authority has reported.
In year-on-year terms, growth of life insurance premiums made 68 percent.
Arturas Baksinskas, the president of the national association of life insurance companies, drew attention to the fact that life insurance boosted its share in the market from 13.6 to 22.1 percent.
"This indicates a growing importance of life insurance in the public life of society and the overall Lithuanian economy", Baksinskas said.
The sum of payments in claims in the life insurance sector declined by 37.8 percent down to LTL 13.8 million if compared to the respective period in 2002.
Over the first five months of this year, 11,500 new life insurance contracts were signed.
(Kauno Diena)

Tuesday 24th of June, 2003

Savings notes will not be distributed
The Lithuanian financial market has greeted the Finance Ministry's decision to temporarily stop its retail savings securities program as from June 21 with approval. The ministry's decision came after the International Monetary Fund recommended that the government stop new issues of savings bonds and instead promote Treasury bills as an alternative savings option for private individuals.
"From the government's viewpoint, this is a logical step, however, private individuals are going to lose an attractive investment product", Dalius Kaziunas, director of the financial brokerage company Finasta, says.
Raimondas Kuodis, director of the Monetary Policy Department at the central Bank of Lithuania, said the savings securities program failed to achieve its objective. "The notes were intended for those who do not trust banks. Yet, eventually, the instrument degenerated; large corporate investors started to purchase the securities. There were days when savings bonds' sales reached LTL 25 million; there were obviously not pensioners with their money" Kuodis says.
As of the end of May, Lithuania's residents had saving notes worth LTL 784 million. Since the spring of 1999, the state has received income of LTL 1.141 billion for savings notes and paid interest of LTL 38.267 million.
(Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Kauno Diena)

Jures Medis incurred losses last year
Since production prices in foreign markets have declined, the company of plywood constructions, Jures Medis, incurred a loss of LTL 174,000 last year.
Turnover of Jures Medis accounted for LTL 15.468 million in 2002, a rise of 3.8 percent from a year before when the figure made LTL 14.919 million.
The company's authorised capital amounts to LTL 6.032 million.
(Verslo Zinios)

IT companies are ready to compete
The largest Lithuanian IT companies should easily meet the date of Lithuania's membership in the European Union, as they are ready for competition, market experts say. Meanwhile, smaller IT companies are likely to merge with larger ones.
Steve Grosman, the sales and marketing manager at Alna, says that professionalism and ability to supply high quality products of the sector under competitive prices are the major advantages of Lithuanian IT companies. Export of products and services is one of the most underlying sectors of Alna's activities; therefore, the company believes that Lithuania's accession to the EU will bring new possibilities.
According to Grosman, Lithuanian IT market is very small while number of IT companies is quite high, therefore, it will be difficult for smaller companies to compete with larger ones.
Eladijus Kirijanovas, the deputy chief executive officer at Sonex Grupe, says that in any market, there is always a niche for small companies, too. However, he agrees that the niche will get smaller after Lithuania's accession to the EU. Kirijanovas says that the companies that are working in all three Baltic countries will have an advantage.
(Verslo Zinios)

Monday 23rd of June, 2003

Insurers received lower income this year due to lower premiums
According to preliminary data provided by the State Insurance Supervisory Authority (SISA), Lithuanian insurance companies signed motor third party liability insurance agreements for LTL 132.4 million in January-May this year, a decline of 24.5 percent if compared to the respective period last year. The major reason of lower income is by LTL 34 lower tariffs of premiums.
In May alone, Lithuanian insurance companies collected premiums for LTL 13.2 million, a rise of 5.2 percent if compared to May last year.
In January-May, Lithuanian insurers paid LTL 26.8 million in claims; the figure made LTL 4.9 million alone. Over the first five months of this year, 1.007 million mandatory motor third party liability insurance were signed, a decline of 5 percent if compared to 2002.
(Respublika)

Alcohol production grows, consumption remains steady
The domestic production of strong drinks and beer went up last year; however the consumption per capita remained steady at 10 litres.
According to the data provided by the Statistics Department, the production of strong alcoholic drinks in Lithuania reached 25 million litres last year. Production of vodka, cognac, brandy, other kinds of brandy, liqueurs, whisky, rum, and gin went up 3.9 percent to 24.7 million litres, while the output of wines as well as non-sparkling fermented drinks made up 13.5 million litres, a rise of 6.4 percent if compared to a year before. Beer brewing surged by 20.2 percent up to 0.263 billion litres.
According to the latest statistics, alcohol consumption is higher in Lithuania than in neighbouring Latvia, where the figure makes 7.1 litres per capita. In Belarus it stands at 9.7 litres.
As for the prices of alcoholic beverages, they went up 0.1 percent in Lithuania last year.
Throughout 2002, alcohol imports in Lithuania increased by 16.4 percent while export of strong drinks and beer grew 8 times; beer export made 79.9 percent of Lithuania's total alcohol export volume.
(Kauno Diena)

Every client receives individual furniture
Ergolain group that produces and sells office and hotel furniture is comprised of 4 companies in Siauliai, Vilnius and Klaipeda. The company has an individual attitude towards every single client, which helps to boost its sales. It is forecasted that this year, turnover of Ergolain group will grow by some 50 percent and reach LTL 8 million.
"Our strategy is based on an individual attitude to each client: personal communication, furniture designing under particular needs, maintenance services after a piece of furniture is sold", Romualdas Beksta, the head of UAB Specus Siauliai and one of the owners of Ergolain group, says.
Last year, UAB Ergolain Baldai (EB) launched manufacture of block furniture with Ergolain trademark. Presently, EB employs some 30 people. In 2002, the company's turnover made LTL 1.2 million while this year it is expected to exceed LTL 2 million.
In 2002, Ergolain Baldai invested LTL 1.2 million; investments will make LTL 0.4 million this year. The company is also going to launch manufacture of soft furniture and start processing natural wood.
(Verslo Zinios)

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