Lithuania's gambling supervisory commission has accused Estonia's Olympic Casino Group Baltija, the market leader, of improper advertising on the firm's Web site. "These advertisements breach the provisions of national legislation - so the company was told to remove the ads," said Audrius Surgela, head of the commission's supervision department. The commission did not impose any penalties, he added. The Olympic Casino Group Baltija claims to hold some 48 percent of the market.
Sony Baltic closed its Lithuanian bureau on Jan. 1. The company's Riga office will take over operations. The electronics giant reported net earnings of 2.2 billion litas (638 million euros) for financial 2004 - which ended March 31 - a plunge of 23.4 percent year-on-year. Recurring profits plummeted by 41.8 percent, year-on-year, to 3.6 billion litas, while aggregate sales firmed by 0.3 percent, to 187.5 billion litas.
Eurovaistines, Lithuania's biggest pharmaceutical chain, posted sales of 296.7 million litas (86 million euros) for 2004, a 70.5 percent rise year-on-year. The chain's sales in Latvia more than doubled to 31.9 million litas. It also met annual sales targets of 300 million litas in Lithuania and 32 million litas in Latvia, expanding to 169 pharmacies and 24 pharmacies respectively from 117 and 21 outlets at the start of the year.
Riga Port handled a total of 23.9 million tons of cargo last year, up 10.4 percent year-on-year. Turnover growth was chiefly due to a 32.3 percent increase in bulk cargo to almost 13 million tons, led primarily by coal. The port handled 9.44 million tons of coal, an 80 percent increase compared with 2003. General cargo amounted to 6.5 million tons, down 4.9 percent year-on-year, and liquid cargo handling fell 11.2 percent to 4.5 million tons.