Company briefs - 2003-10-23

  • 2003-10-23
A report by the European Commission shows that the percentage of Estonians who have a mobile phone (74) is higher than the EU average (71) and the highest in the Baltics, where Estonia was followed by Lithuania with 53 percent. Latvia came in third with

Randers Reb Production has invested 15 million litas (4.3 million euros) and moved its marine rope production operations to Lithuania. The Lithuanian factory will mainly export to Denmark, but there are hopes to sell more steel and combined ropes on the local market, targeting annual sales of about 18 million litas this year. The company stated that a cheaper labor force was one reason that it made the decision to invest in the Baltics.

Electronics maker Vilniaus Vingis has reported an unaudited net profit of 7.4 million litas (2.1 million euros) for nine months, down 31.5 percent year-on-year. Company officials explained that the downward trend this year was mainly caused by the European recession. "We are completely integrated into the European market," general manager Vaclovas Sleiniota said, adding that "this year's crisis has pulled down our sales." The company is planning to finish the year with a profit of 9 million litas, as compared with 12 million litas last year.

Estonia's leading industrial group Norma, which is owned by the U.S.-Swedish group Autoliv, reported a 34 percent drop in nine-month profits to 97.7 million kroons (6.2 million euros). Third-quarter profit was down 53 percent at 28 million kroons. The profit in that time frame included gains from the sale of property at Laki 14A amounting to 17 million kroons.
Vilniaus Bankas, Vereins- und Westbank and MG Baltic's subsidiary Mineraliniai Vandenys have signed a syndicated credit agreement. After the banks issue the alcohol wholesaler a loan of 135 million litas (39 million euros) for eight years, it will be able to pay for the shares of the Stumbras distillery, which it is acquiring from the state assets fund after winning a privatization tender. Darius Mockus, the president of MG Baltic, said Mineraliniai Vandenys will pay for 70 percent of the shares with the borrowed money, using its own funds for the rest of the acquired stock.

Selga cookies have become the second best-sold confectioners product in Latvia, after Laima Asorti chocolates. In the first nine months of 2003 Selga comprised almost 10 percent of the total sales of Laima and Staburadze production, while Selga's exports form about 15 per cent of the export of the companies. Selga sells, on average, approximately 1.2 million packs of cookies every month in the Baltic States.

The Estonian textile plant Marat will lay off 200 workers and relocate away from Tallinn. The relocation is likely to cost 3 million kroons (190,000 euros), said Aarne Viikholm, production and technical director of Marat. Two hundred workers will lose their jobs in the cutting and production department as a result of the move. The company said that it planned to create 100 jobs by the end of next year by opening production facilities in Mustvee and Parnu.

The Lithuanian retail giant VP Market has started concluding unprecedented contracts with suppliers according to which the latter must take on a commitment to achieve a certain sales target in the extensive VP Market chain. Failure to achieve sales targets will result in penalties based on VP Market's lost profit. Currently, the Baltics' largest retail chain is experimenting with this new contract only with select suppliers, but sources said the terms were likely to be pressed on most suppliers in the future.