Eesti in brief - 2009-05-20
AS Merko Ehitus announced on the Tallinn Stock Exchange a 79 percent fall in group profits in the first quarter of 2009. The profit of 36.9 million kroons (2.4 million euros) was 139.2 million kroons down on the similar period in 2008. The key factor in this fall was the drop in sales of 609.2 million kroons, equivalent to 45.6 percent. Indirect costs such as marketing and general expenses were cut by 23 percent, but these were not enough to match the fall in revenues. The groups sales are distributed as follows, 73.5 percent Estonia, 23.5 percent Latvia and 3 percent from Lithuania. In its residential activities, the group sold 70 apartments during the first quarter. It has a completed inventory of 344 unsold apartments and has frozen the construction of 433 others.
Casino operator Olympic Entertainment Group announced to the stock exchange that the company is fighting a temporary suspension of operations from the Ukrainian government. The Ukrainian minister of finance has withdrawn licenses for all casinos in Ukraine. This is claimed to be as a result of a fire at a competitors gaming facilities in Dnepropetrovsk. Initially the suspension of activities was to enable authorities to carry out inspections. However, on May 15 the Ukrainian parliament passed a law suspending the activities of all gaming enterprises in Ukraine. The government will be given an order to develop a new gambling act within three months.
Nokia has announced that the new concert hall under construction in the Solaris Center in Tallinn will be known as the Nokia Concert Hall. Nokia Eesti representative Juri Teemant told Aripaev "in light of the economic crisis it's not decent to tell how much money Nokia invests in the concert hall." However, it is believed to be in excess of 1 million kroons (64,000 Euros) per annum. The state of the art concert theater and conference hall will seat 1,800 people in central Tallinn and opens in October 2009. Nokia has followed the lead of Saku Olletehase AS, which has sponsored Estonia's indoor sports and concert hall Saku Arena for eight years.
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