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‰ The Estonian insurance firm ASA Kindlustus collected 123.72 million kroons ($9.1 million) in premiums in 1998, 11 percent less than in 1997. In December 1998, it collected 9.48 million kroons in premiums. This is 4 percent more than in December 1997, ASA Insurance Group financial division director Nadja Tarmak said. In December 1998, ASA Kindlustus made claim settlements to the tune of 16.7 million kroons and, for the entire year, 71.7 million kroons.
‰ Hansapank earned a profit of 50.3 million kroons in 1998, data released by the central bank shows. Hansa's result for December was a loss of 53.0 million kroons. In 1997, Hansapank netted 381.8 million kroons while Hoiupank, which merged with Hansapank last summer, ended 1997 with a profit of 233.8 million kroons. Hansapank, commenting on the release by the Bank of Estonia, said that the figures reflected a provisional balance which may change substantially after entries at the end of the financial year are made. Entries into the profit report will affect the entire outcome of the financial year, the bank said. Hansapank is scheduled to release its audited results for 1998 on March 10.
‰ Leks Group collected 203 million kroons in insurance premiums in Estonia last year, 32 percent more than in 1997. The group's insurance companies made claim settlements to the amount of 112.7 million kroons.
‰ Uhispank had a loss of 290 million kroons during 1998, non-audited figures show. The bank had posted a profit of 211.1 million kroons for 1997.
‰ According to information provided by Rigas Komercbanka to the Riga Stock Exchange, the bank's unaudited loss in 1998 was 1.2 million lats ($2.1 million). RKMB said that in the second half of 1998 it sold part of its stock portfolio and the remaining securities were being reassessed by international auditors at the moment. RKMB said that it will release the financial statement about its financial position at the end of last year as soon as the bean counters complete their audit.
‰ Ventspils Nafta, an oil transport firm, expects its net profit to reach 15.6 million lats this year. The meeting of VN shareholders on Jan. 21 approved the company's budget for 1999.
‰ Ukio Bankas had 2.456 million litas ($614,000) in unaudited net profit in 1998, according to preliminary data. The bank's audited profit, to be announced in early February, is expected to go up substantially, to 5.5 million litas. The audited results will reflect 3 million litas in expenses reserved in 1997 for the bank's structural reorganization which was performed using the bank's internal reserves last year. The expenses were reflected in the bank's audited nine-month profit figure.
‰ Lietuvos Dujos had approximately 19 million litas in 1998 year-end losses, preliminary data show. Lithuanian Gas' Chief Accountant Antanas Avizinis said the year-end loss figure should be close to that of the nine month's result, where the utility had a loss of 19.5 million litas. In 1997, Lithuanian Gas operated at a profit, earning 16.84 million litas, but fines to consumers for outstanding debts made up the bulk of the earnings.
‰ With excess production capacity, the dairy Pieno Zvaigzdes faces a difficult year, with much stiffer competition than in 1998. "We are discussing whether it is worthwhile boosting turnover and purchasing all milk supplied by farmers when profits are falling," Pieno Zvaigzdes' President Julius Kvaraciejus told BNS. The dairy was set up after a merger between Mazeikiu Pienas and Pasvalio Suriai].
‰ According to preliminary data, cheese producer Rokiskio Suris sold 205 million litas worth of production last year and anticipates a net profit of 25 million litas, up from 21.2 million litas in 1997.