Eesti Paevaleht, one of Estonia's largest dailies, will post a profit this year - its first ever. Publisher and director Aavo Kokk has informed the Baltic News Service that the paper would meet its goal of a 1 million kroon (64,000 euro) profit and that the figure might be even higher. He said the company had given up attempts "to have a go at everything" and produced a pithier, thinner paper last year. "We are also producing it in a more reasonable print, which reduces the loss from returns," Kokk said. The paper gave its employees a year-end bonus of about 2,000 kroons each. Eesti Paevaleht's profit target for 2005 is 3.3 million kroons, he said.
Riga International Airport last year served a total of 1,060,426 passengers, 49 more year-on-year and higher that its original forecast. In December the airport saw the steepest passenger growth for 2004 - 95.4 percent year-on-year - to 105,179 passengers. It was one of six months last year when the airport served over 100,000 passengers monthly. Airport spokesman Andorijs Darzins says that the airport served 27,325 flights in 2004, 40.1 percent more than in 2003, though cargo handling fell 35.3 percent year-on-year to 8,752 tons. In 2003 RIA served 711,753 passengers, up 12.4 percent from 2002.
Rautakesko, a Finnish-owned Latvian construction materials trader, said it was planning to invest approximately 15 million euros in opening two new K-Rauta shopping centers in Riga. The construction of both K-Rauta stores - one on Priedaines Street and the other in the Lucavsala district - has already begun, a company spokeswoman said, and the company hopes to finish it in the spring or beginning of summer. Rautakesko, a subsidiary of Kesko, the largest trade and logistics company in Finland, plans to open 29 more new K-Rauta stores in Latvia, where there are currently two such construction material stores.