VILNIUS - Lithuanian companies beat their Baltic peers in terms of profit margins, at approximately 8 percent, a new survey by KPMG, an international consultancy, has found.
However, Lithuanian businesses are the most pessimistic in the Baltics when it comes to expectations for growth in profit margins in the upcoming three-year period, the survey showed.
The survey, which polled 180 companies in 11 European countries, including 60 companies in the three Baltic states, has put the average profit margin of Latvia's companies at approximately 6 percent, while for Estonia it was 5 percent.
But Lithuania's companies expect their profit margins to rise by less than 1 percentage point in the next three years. Those in Latvia and Estonia, by contrast, are projecting an increase in excess of 2 percentage points.
The survey put the average corporate profit margins in Lithuania's manufacturing sector at 8.5 percent, chemical and processing 's 7.5 percent, electronics 's 5 percent and consumer goods 's 4.5 percent.
The average product quality assessment by Lithuania's companies is below that of Estonian companies, although this index exceeds the respective rates by Latvian and Central European companies.
Estonian companies assigned 4.51 points to the quality of their products (out of 5 points available), while the respective rates for Lithuanian and Latvian companies was 4.4 points and 4.38 points.
The average product quality assessment index for the Baltic companies stood at 4.42 points, while the respective rate for Central European countries was 4.2 points.
Exports of Lithuanian companies comprised 56 percent of total sales last year, up from 55 percent in 2003. Respective rates for Latvia edged up to 57 percent from 56 percent, and for Estonia 's to 48 percent from 47 percent.
Meanwhile, the average income per employee in Lithuania was the lowest among the Baltic countries in both 2003 and 2004. Last year the index for Lithuania was 71,000 euros, up from 58,000 euros in 2003. In Estonia, the respective rate increased to 73,000 euros, from 70,000 euros in 2003, and in Latvia, to 87,000 euros, from 75,000 euros.
The survey covered the Baltic countries, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Croatia.