In Brief - 2003-07-10

  • 2003-07-10
Offshore buying up Snaige stock
The Luxembourg-based DCF Fund owned 10.02 percent of shares in Snaige, the leading producer of household refrigerators in the Baltics, as of June 19, the National Stock Exchange of Lithuania announced.
The NSEL said it received notification about acquisition of the block on July 3.
Investors' interest in Snaige, listed on the blue chip Official List of the NSEL, has been fuelled by the company's solid results and ambitious expansion plans.
Snaige reported preliminary sales of 131.5 million litas (38.1 million euros) for the first half of 2003, a 10.7 percent increase year-on-year. The company turned a net profit of 4.7 million litas for the first quarter of 2003, an 11.9 percent rise on the same period in 2002.
The company's ongoing investment projects include a new refrigerator plant in Russia's Kaliningrad. The new plant is expected to start operations in the first half of 2004, with investments estimated at 40 million litas. (Baltic News Service)

Ventspils manages to stay afloat
Ventspils Port reloaded 15.4 million tons of cargo in the first half of this year, a fall of 9.9 percent year-on-year, said the port's deputy manager, Guntis Tirmanis.
Under this year's budget approved by Ventspils Port's board, annual cargo turnover is planned at 28 million tons, consisting of mainly oil products, bulk cargos and general cargos. No crude oil deliveries by pipeline are planned.
Ventspils Port Board Chairman Aivars Lembergs told the press on July 7 he was satisfied with the six-month results, since they showed there is a basis to achieve the planned annual turnover of 28 million tons.
"I possess no facts instilling great optimism, but serious efforts are being made to this end," he said.
Crude oil handling at the port fell most this year, shrinking by 4 million tons from the first half of 2002. If the port were to receive crude oil deliveries by pipeline, annual cargo turnover in 2003 could rise to 40 million tons, added Lembergs. (BNS)

LAL'S CEO promises improvements
Vidas Zvinys, acting CEO of Lithuania's flag carrier Lietuvos Avialinijos (LAL), was named the new executive officer of the airline by the board on July 24.
Transport manager Zvinys has been working at Lietuvos Avialinijos since 1994 and was appointed acting CEO in May 2002. "This year will bring about numerous essential changes. We will definitely strive to boost competitiveness of the carrier," Zvinys, 39, said after his appointment.
The recent failure of the carrier's privatization tender has prompted the Ministry of Transportation and the State Property Fund to speed up divestment of three out of four LAL affiliates, including the Kaunas airlines Lietuva, the airline food supplier Aero-Chef-LAL and the travel agency Aviaturas ir Partneriai.
LAL controls the entire stakes in Lietuva and LAL Cargo (the fourth affiliate) in addition to a 50.8 percent holding in Aero-Chef-LAL and a 52 percent stake in Aviaturas ir Partneriai. (BNS)

Dairy giant wants into Lithuania
Despite the failure to acquire the dairy company Birzu Akcine Pieno Bendrove and launch production locally in 2000, the Russian soft drink and dairy company Wimm-Bill-Dann is determined to gain a foothold in Lithuania's market.
The business daily Verslo Zinios reported that the company has decided to win a market share by exporting its wide range of products, though it may try to take over a local dairy producer in the future.
The daily notes that the Russian food giant plans to lure Lithuania's consumers with yogurts, yogurt drinks, milk and juice cocktails.
Wimm-Bill-Dann, which went public last year on the New York Stock Exchange, has already launched talks with the leading Lithuanian retail network VP Market on cooperation. Sources of the daily report that the first batch of goods in excess of 20 tons will hit the counters of the network in July or August. VP Market is expected to import the foodstuffs from the Wimm-Bill-Dann dairy producer in Moscow.
"We do not intend to make a start on the new market at particularly low prices," Dmitry Chausov, deputy director for commerce of Wimm-Bill-Dann's Liazanovsk dairy plant, pointed out.
Viktorija Jakubauskaite, VP Market press secretary, reported that for starters Wimm-Bill-Dann's products might comprise over 10 percent of the yogurts offered by Lithuania's leading retail network. The share of products of the Russian food giant may be increased on sufficient demand. (BNS)

Railway operator making mass investments
Edelaraudtee (SW Railway), a firm operating passenger and freight traffic on state-owned rails in Estonia, invested 100 million kroons (6.5 million euros) in 2002, of which 27.8 million kroons were spent to acquire EVR Ekspress, the operator of international rail passenger traffic.
The SW Railway group invested 21.7 million kroons in railway infrastructure last year and 47.9 million kroons in overhauling its rolling stock.
SW Railway is planning to invest another 100 million kroons in the maintenance and rolling stock also this year.
SW acquired all the shares in EVR Ekspress last year from Tiit Pruuli's Best Marketing firm and Estonian Railway. (BNS)