Observer "Lietuva"
WEEK 41st

Saturday 11th of October, 2003

Successful debut of Samane in Japan
After the successful debut of Samane vodka in Japan, the Japanese company Promtec-BIZ Co., Ltd. is planning to raise the assortment of imported strong Alita drinks as well as their sales volume.
Promtec-BIZ Co., Ltd. that imports alcoholic beverages to Japan is the first company from the country that imported Lithuanian vodka; the company is presently interested in the import of Premium Gera Starka.
The president of Promtec-BIZ Co., Ltd., Yoko Kokubo has recently visited Alita and observed the process of production. The Japanese delegation had a tasting and complimented Premium Gera Starka, which is likely to become the second product to be exported to Japan.

Privatisation of Alita is turning into a scandal
The government is likely to announce one more tender on privatisation of the alcohol producer Alita. The privatisation commission for four alcohol companies' sell-off to private owners concluded during its Friday meeting that the winner of the competitive bidding for Alita, Luigiterzo Bosca, missed the deadline set by the State Property Fund to ratify the Alita sale-purchase deal.
According to the data of Lietuvos Rytas daily, Bosca has sent a note informing SPF that he would not be able to come and asked to postpone signing of the agreement to the beginning of next week
However, the public tender commission suggested to the Fund taking a decision on further Alita privatisation tender course.
Antanas Malikenas, privatisation director at the Fund, has reported that the Fund would have to take a respective decision in three working days. He did not rule out a possibility for the Alita privatisation to be terminated and a new competitive bidding announced.
(Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios)

Zemaitijos Pienas asks for a support of another LTL 5 million
The Minister of Finance Dalia Grybauskait? reported on Thursday that the third largest group of milk processing companies in Lithuania, Zemaitijos Pienas, does not follow the regulations, according to which dairies are obliged to pay for milk the same price they did last year and urged farmers not to supply milk to the company.
Zemaitijos Pienas is surprised at the statements of the minister and claims that in order to keep the same milk purchase price the company needs additional LTL 5 million. Algirdas Pazemeckas, the head of Zemaitijos Pienas, claims that last year, the company paid higher price than an average one while the state support of LTL 56 million was distributed among Lithuanian dairies without considering the fact, therefore, Zemaitijos Pienas lacks money to keep the last year's prices.
Zemaitijos Pienas posted an unaudited net profit of LTL 2.68 million for the first half of this year, turnover of the group accounted for LTL 124 million.

Friday 10th of October, 2003

Apranga to consolidate its position on the Latvian market
The largest Lithuanian clothing retailer Apranga is to open the fourth store in Latvia next weekend. The City Men&Women shop will be intended for businesspeople.
In Latvia, two stores – Hugo Boss and Betty Barclay – are operating under franchise agreement and there is also Apranga trade centre for families.
In total, Apranga's investments in Latvia will make LTL 4 million this year.
Apranga controls some 30 percent of the retail clothing market in Lithuania. The company employs 350 people, 40 of them work in Latvia.
Last year, Apranga posted a net profit of LTL 5.074 million and reached turnover of LTL 75.043 million.
(Verslo Zinios)

Senukai to invest 100 million
Senukai, Lithuania's largest retailer of building materials and household goods, will invest some LTL 100 million into construction of a new trade and leisure centre in Kaunas.
"If the project goes smoothly, we will wrap it up within a year. The project would enable us to create some 800 workplaces", Augustinas Rakauskas, Senukai president and one of major shareowners of the chain, says.
Furthermore, Baltic Shopping Centers and Senukai intend to open a new trade centre in Vilnius.
Senukai, which has a 25 percent share on the building materials and household appliances market, posted sales of LTL 251.315 million for the first half of 2003 versus LTL 207.473 million a year earlier. The Senukai chain offers a wide range of goods supplied by almost 700 foreign and 600 local producers. The chain is an authorized representative of nearly 200 foreign companies in Lithuania and other Baltic states.
(Lietuvos Rytas)

Export reserve – in new markets
Analysts are delighted and surprised that this year, Lithuania's export volume has doubled if compared to import; moreover, consumption is growing, too.
Preliminary data based on customs declarations has showed that in January-August, Lithuania's export volume rose by 8.9 percent up to LTL 14.1 billion while import increased by 3.8 percent up to LTL 18.7 billion.
It is forecasted that this year, Lithuania's export will grow by 10-15 percent.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios

Thursday 9th of October, 2003

Deflation has been registered in Lithuania again
According to the data provided by the Department of Statistics, the annual deflation stood at 0.8 percent in September. In September alone, deflation made 0.4 percent.
Finance analysts say that deflation in Lithuania has been mostly predetermined by stronger US dollar with respect to litas.
In September, the consumer price index (CPI) was weighed down by a 6.7-percent decline in communications' tariffs, a 0.3 percent decrease in prices of foodstuffs and soft drinks. However, the general decline was partially offset by a 3.4-percent rise in prices of clothing and footwear.
Prices of consumer goods climbed 0.1 percent in September, while prices of services shrank 2.3 percent.
(Respublika, Kauno Diena)

Tvokle to change its field of activities
The Birzai-based timber processing company Tvokle is to reduce its authorised capital and change the field of activities.
Shareholders of the company have decided to reduce authorised capital by LTL 2.357 million from LTL 8.64 million up to LTL 6.283 million.
"Authorised capital is reduced because of the losses the company has incurred over previous years", Rytis Giedraitis, the head of Tvokle, says.
According to Giedraitis, the company incurred a loss of LTL 1.621 million last year, its turnover made LTL 677,000.
In order to achieve better results, Tvokle changed the field of activities and launched manufacture of furniture for children in May this year.
(Verslo Zinios)

At least 8 percent of residents will be accumulating pension in private funds
Some 8 percent of Lithuania's population have already resolved to enter private pension programs, however, 39 percent have absolutely no intentions to take up any private pension schemes.
More than a half of Lithuania's residents have not made up their minds on entering the new pension system, the latest poll by the market research group RAIT has revealed.
The results of the poll have shown that younger residents, as well as residents with higher income might be the most active participants of the pension reform.
Majority of residents over 50 years of age have no intentions to enter the private pension program. Some 60 percent of residents in the age group of 50-59 years and 73 percent of residents in the age category of 60-69 years have resolved to stay out of the reform.
The state-run social insurance fund, Sodra, forecasts that around 100,000 residents will participate in private pension schemes in the first year of the reform. However, the managers of pension funds expect to register 200,000-300,000 customers.
(Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios)

Wednesday 8th of October, 2003

Gubernija enters the US market
Siauliai-based brewery Gubernija has sent its first consignment of Gubernijos Extra beer to the US retail chains Global Village and King of Prussia. The company is planning to offer some other kinds of beer for the US customers in the future, too.
Violeta Dunauskiene, Gubernija's spokeswoman, says that the first consignment of Gubernijos Ekstra beer will open a new trade channel to the largest US retail chains.
In January-September, Lithuanian brewers exported 4.07 million litres of beer, a decline of 54 percent from the same period last year.
Since the beginning of the year, Gubernija has sold 0.99 million litres of beer in foreign countries, which made 24 percent of the overall Lithuania's beer export.
The Siauliai-based company boosted its share in the market from 9.6 percent up to 10.5 percent over the year.
(Verslo Zinios)

Number of internet banking users has grown
As of the end of September, ten Lithuanian commercial banks had 567,000 users of internet banking services, 2.5 times more if compared to the end of 2002 when the figure made 229,000.
Since the beginning of the year when there were some 305,000 internet banking users, the number has grown by 86 percent, which was more than forecasted at the beginning of the year; Lithuania's banks expected to have 550,000 users of internet banking services at the end of the year.
Hansabankas remains the leader of internet banking with 316,000 users of service, a rise of 2.7 times if compared to the end of 2002.
(Verslo Zinios)

Lietuvos Energija has boosted its export volume by 23 percent this year
The state-owned power utility Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) exported 5.4 billion kWh of power over the first eight months of 2003, an increase of 22.7 percent if compared to the respective period in 2002.
Power sales to Belarus made up 2.8 billion kWh, to Russia - 1.7 billion kWh, to Latvia - 486.3 million kWh, to Poland - 369.9 million kWh, and to Estonia - 45 million kWh in the January-to-September period, Lietuvos Energija has reported.
In September exports of power came in at 298.7 million kWh, rising by 7 percent versus September of 2002.
The unaudited net earnings of Lietuvos Energija came in at LTL 51.7 million in the first six months, declining by 6.8 percent from the same period of 2002. Revenues of the power utility reached LTL 490.6 million in the first six months of this year, shrinking by some 15.6 percent from the first half of 2002. The state-owned power utility expects to earn a profit of LTL 63 million for 2003.
(Respublika, Verslo Zinios)

Tuesday 7th of October, 2003

Kaisiadorys poultry farm
One of the biggest poultry producer in Lithuania – Kaisiadoriu Paukstynas – posted turnover of LTL 33.7 million for the first three quarters of this year, a decline of 7.7 percent from the respective period last year.
In September this year, the company's turnover accounted for LTL 3.6 million, a 10-percent drop from September 2002.
Representatives of Kaisiadoriu Paukstynas say that the decline in turnover was predetermined by lower poultry sales price as well as higher offer and import volumes.
Kaisiadoriu Paukstynas expects to get permission to export its production to the EU countries in the near future.
(Lietuvos Zinios)

Turnover of VP Market reached LTL 2.6 billion
The largest retail chain operator in the Baltic countries, VP Market, posted turnover of LTL 2.6 billion for January-September of this year, a rise of 18.5 percent.
Ignas Staskevicius, the CEO of VP Market, has noted the growth of the company sales every month this year. In line with the operator's plans, VP Market will boost its full year sales to EUR 1 billion for sure, he added.
"That good result depended much on increasing purchasing power of local residents and opening of new supermarkets in Lithuania and Latvia. Twelve new supermarkets opened in Lithuania and Latvia in 2003", Staskevicius said.
Presently, VP Market controls 247 trade centres, of which 180 are in Lithuania, 66 in Latvia, and 1 in Estonia. Last year VP Market's sales made up EUR 881.3 million.
(Kauno Diena, Respublika, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas)

Shoemakers turn back to the local market
Some 900 thousand pairs of shoes are manufactured in Lithuania per year. 70 percent of the production is exported to foreign countries. Some 6 million pairs of shoes are sold in the local market. Specialists have noticed that Chinese footwear dominates in the Lithuanian market; it makes some 80 percent of the overall number of shoes sold in Lithuania. A large part of Chinese shoes is smuggled to the country and later sold in marketplaces.
In 2002, Kaunas-based company Lituanica was the largest footwear producer (500 thousand pairs of shoes) and was followed by Vilnius company Apavikta (170 thousand pairs) and Siauliai-based company Sabalin (90 thousand pairs of shoes).
Apavikta is planning to sell 80 thousand pairs of shoes in the local market in 2004, which is by 25 percent from this year.
(Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas)

Foreigners spend more in Lithuania
Visitors from over 100 countries spent USD 28.3 million using Visa payment cards in Lithuania during the three summer months this year. This is by 39 percent more if compared to last summer when they spent USD 20.4 million.
As well as last year, US citizens spent the largest amount of money in Lithuania – USD 5.3 million.
According to the data provided by Visa International, expenses of Lithuanians abroad rose by one-third last summer. Lithuanians spent USD 14.07 million abroad in June-August this year, which is by 37 percent more if compared to USD 10.3 million in 2002.
(Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas)

Monday 6th of October, 2003

Ekmecha that was established by Ekranas has been introduced in Panevezys
A new modern factory of equipment, Ekmecha, has been officially presented in Panevezys. The company employs 522 qualified employees.
After Ekranas decided to separate subsidiary production from the base production of TV tubes, a new company that designs and manufactures equipment for electronics and food industry has been established. It is planned that the company's turnover will make LTL 45 million this year.
Ekmecha designs technological equipment and automated technological lines, equipment for sheet-steel cutting, stretching and bending as well as other machineries.
The company will seek to get ISO certificate.
(Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios)

Insurers have expanded the list of critical illnesses
UAB ERGO Lietuva Gyvybes Draudimas life insurance company has added 6 illnesses to the list of critical illnesses. From now on, the company will be paying compensations for people who have lost their extremities or their functions, in case of blindness, multiple sclerosis, transplantation of internals as well as surgeries of heart valves and aorta prosthesis.
As usually, people will also get compensations if they get sick with 'classical' illnesses: heart attack, stroke, cancer, heart vessels bypass surgery or in case of deficiency of kidney functions.
(Verslo Zinios)

Fewer spectators at the cinemas
Although new cinemas are being built in many largest Lithuanian towns, more than half of Lithuania's residents did not see a single movie last year. Since 2000, attendance of cinemas has dropped by 17 percent.
In 2002, Lithuanian cinemas sold 1.39 million tickets. Another 210 thousand people came to see movies with invitations.
Vilnius residents are the most active attendants of cinemas: 1.125 million people came to Vilnius' movie theatres last year.
(Lietuvos Rytas)

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