TALLINN - In the 2nd quarter of 2010, net sales, costs and total profit for the Estonian business sector increased when compared to the previous quarter, as well as to the same quarter of the previous year, show data from Statistics Estonia, reports news agency LETA. The increase in net sales in the business sector continued for the second quarter in succession.
According to the seasonally adjusted data, the net sales of companies increased by 5 percent in the 2nd quarter of 2010 compared to the 1st quarter. In the 1st quarter this year compared to the previous quarter the increase was 4 percent.
In the 2nd quarter of 2010, companies sold goods and services for 138 billion kroons (8.9 billion euros) at current prices, which is 7 percent more than in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased in most economic activities. The wholesale and retail trade enterprises, which have the biggest share in gross net sales in the overall business sector, have managed to increase their net sales for the first time after the 3rd quarter of 2008, as compared to the previous year. The growth was mainly influenced by wholesale activity. The net sales of construction firms decreased the most.
Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2009, the companies’ total costs increased 6 percent. Personnel expenses decreased 8 percent, as did the number of persons employed and the number of hours worked. There has been a continual increase in the growth of productivity indicators (labor, hourly and personnel cost productivity). The hourly productivity (total productivity/number of hours worked) of businesses increased 11 percent, at the same time the average hourly labor costs stayed at the level of the 2nd quarter of the previous year.
In the 2nd quarter 2010, the total profit of companies amounted to 7.4 billion kroons, which was 38 percent higher compared to the 2nd quarter of the previous year and more than half higher than in the 1st quarter this year. Although the 2nd quarter of the previous year reported the highest total profit increase in the repair of computers, and sales of personal and household goods and arts, entertainment and recreation activities, growth of total profit in this year’s 2nd quarter was mainly influenced by manufacturing. The growth in manufacturing was mainly supported by the manufacture of metal products, shale oil and motor vehicles. Agriculture and education activities were running at a loss.
The investment activeness of companies continued to be low. In the 2nd quarter, enterprises invested 5.3 billion kroons, which is a third less than in the 2nd quarter of 2009. Investments were mainly made in other equipment and machinery and in the construction and alteration of buildings. The major investors were in manufacturing, transportation and storage and energy enterprises with about a half of the total investments of enterprises. Compared to the 2nd quarter of the previous year, investments increased only in purchases of other equipment and machinery.