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TALLINN - The 3rd quarter of 2010 saw net sales, costs and total profits of the business sector increasing 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 growth of net sales in the business sector continued for the third quarter in a row, compared to the previous quarter. According to the seasonally adjusted data, the net sales of companies increased 6 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2010 compared to the 2nd quarter. In the 1st and 2nd quarter this year compared to the previous quarter, the increase was 5 percent.
In the 3rd quarter of 2010, enterprises sold goods and services for 145 billion kroons (9.3 billion euros), which is, at current prices, 15 percent more than in the same period a year ago. The net sales of wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and transportation and storage enterprises, which have the biggest share in gross net sales in the overall business sector, increased 11 percent, 30 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2009, the corporations’ total costs increased 11 percent. The personnel expenses decreased 4 percent, as did the number of persons employed and number of hours worked. Continual growth has been recorded in the productivity indicators (labor, hour and personnel cost productivity). The labor productivity (total productivity divided by number of person employed) of the business sector increased 28 percent, at the same time the average labor costs per persons employed stayed on the level of the 3rd quarter of the previous year.
In the 3rd quarter 2010, the total profit of companies amounted to 9.7 billion kroons, which was more than two times larger compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year, and by a third higher than in the 2nd quarter this year. Although manufacturing accounts for the largest share of total profit of the business sector, the growth of total profit was mainly influenced by transportation and storage. The growth in these activities was mainly supported by the companies dealing with supporting activities for transportation.
The investment activeness of companies has remained weak. In the 3rd quarter, companies invested 5.7 billion kroons, which is a fifth less than in the 3rd quarter of 2009. Investments were mainly made in other equipment and machinery and in the construction and alteration of buildings. The major investors were energy, transportation and storage and manufacturing companies with more than a half of the total investments of all companies. Compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year, investments increased only in other equipment and machinery.