In Brief - 2002-08-08

  • 2002-08-08
Lithuanians in Riga

Lithuania's VP Market has singed a deal with Pro Kapital Latvia to build a new Hyper Maxima supermarket and shopping center at the former VEF electronics factory, company officials said.

Construction of the Domina Shopping Center should be completed in autumn 2003 with a total area of 110,000 square meters, 40,000 of which will be retail stores.

Pro Kaptial said they agreed with the Lithuanian company because it has the most experience developing shopping centers in the Baltics.

VP Markets started operating in Latvia last year when it opened 31 T-market budget supermarkets and one Maxima Hypermarket. The company owns a total of 175 stores across the Baltics. (Baltic News Service)

Telecom takeover

Data Telekommunikatsiooni OU, owner of the Data Telecom trademark, has taken over most of the clients of the troubled KPNQwest Estonia.

In connection with the bankruptcy of its Dutch mother company, KPNQwest Estonia has issued a layoff notice to all 25 employees, CEO Neeme Takis said.

Most will find employment in the telecommunication firm Data Telecommunications OU, a firm based on Estonian capital launched in July.

The Latvian and Lithuanian subsidiaries of KPNQwest Estonia are now being liquidated, the Riga and Vilnius network terminals have been closed and the clients there have been handed over to MicroLink. (BNS)

Lithuanian losses

The Lietuvos Telekomas monopoly fixed line operator announced a net profit of 38.5 million litas (11.1 million euros), a 37.4 percent drop year on year.

In the second quarter of 2002, the company earned a net profit of 17.12 million litas, down 20 percent compared with the first quarter of the year, and down by 44.4 percent versus the same period in 2001.

Lietuvos Telekomas posted revenues of 491.51 million litas for January-June, down by 8.2 percent from 535.59 million litas in the respective period in 2001, Lietuvos Telekomas reported. (BNS)

Estonia on top

Estonian industrial output in first five months of 2002 grew most over 2001 as compared to industrial growth in neighboring Latvia and Lithuania, reported the Latvian national statistics office.

From January to May 2002 Estonian industrial output in constant prices rose 6.9 percent year-on-year.

In Lithuania industrial growth was 4.8 percent in the first five months of this year and the Latvian industrial output increased 2.1 percent over the same period in 2001. (BNS)

Driving ahead

Estonian car dealers sold 1,357 new passenger cars in July with Peugeot topping the list, a 6.1 percent increase over June sales.

Of the total cars sold, 185 were mini or small cars, 457 small-medium, 304 medium, 90 big-medium and 11 luxury cars.

Since the start of 2002, Estonian dealers have sold 8,838 passenger cars on the domestic market and imported 390 cars (BNS).

Finns on the way

The Finnish Kesko group is planning to build several grocery stores and agricultural appliance shops in Estonia in the next few years but wants to expand particularly fast in Latvia.

By 2005, Kesko is planning to open 15 supermarkets, 60 Saastumarket-type shops, nine building material and tool shops, and five agricultural appliance shops in Latvia. At present Kesko only has one shop in each of the spheres in Latvia.

In groceries, Kesko has set its aim at achieving a market share of 25 percent and in building materials a market share of 30 percent.

This year, the total sales of Kesko's grocery shops should amount to 200 million euros, of building material shops - 60 million euros, and of agricultural appliances shops - 50 million euros.

Juhani Jarvi, financial director of the Kesko group, told reporters in Tallinn last week that realization of Kesko's plans in the next few years will require the investment of 200 million euros or more than 3.1 billion kroons (198.08 million euros).

Kesko cooperates with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which has given long-term loans to the company. (BNS)

Gas bond issue

The natural gas company Lietuvos Dujos, 34 percent owned by the German energy companies Ruhrgas and E.ON Energie, successfully completed the placement of a 30 million litas bond issue Aug. 2. Funds from the issue will be used for the refinancing debt.

The two-year bond issue is part of Lietuvos Dujos' 100 million litas bond issue program approved by the company early this year and carries an annual interest rate of 5.25 percent, Lietuvos Dujos said in a statement.

The issue was much oversubscribed. In line with the issue placement procedure, it was a private placement, which was handled in consultation with Hermis Finansai, a local investment management company.

Ruhrgas and E.ON Energie own 34 percent, the State Property Fund controls 58.36 percent and private investors hold 7.64 percent of Lietuvos Dujos shares.

Shares in Lietuvos Dujos are listed on the Current List of the Lithuanian stock exchange. (BNS)