Drogas said it planned to end the year with a 1 million lat (1.5 million euro) profit and become the leader in cosmetics and household goods in the Baltics. From January to September sales amounted to 16 million lats and should reach 22.3 million by the end of the year. The company said it was planning to open four new shops before the end of the year. Currently there are 17 shops in Lithuania and 49 in Latvia, of which 33 are in Riga. Drogas occupies 51 percent of the Latvian household goods and cosmetics market, according to the AC Nielsen market research company. Drogas managers said they were exploring the Estonian market and could open shops there in a couple of years.
Donatas Jazukevicius was appointed the new CEO of Lithuania's pharmaceutical chain, Sanitas. He replaces Arvydas Kazakevicius, whose resignation was approved by the Sanitas council Nov. 13. Baltijos Finansu Valdymo Grupe, the company that controls Sanitas, is currently undergoing a restructuring, after which BFVG will be eliminated and 72 percent of Sanitas' stock will be distributed to group shareholders, Verslo Zinios reported.
Riga Central Market has posted profits of 289,700 lats (445,000 euros) in the January - September period, which is 260,000 lats more than the same period last year, despite an 8 percent decrease in turnover to 2.7 million lats. Market managers said that increasing competition and better service conditions in supermarkets had led to the fall in sales.
Ventspils-based Kurzemes Granulas said it planned to open a 4 million euro woodchip granule plant with an annual capacity of 60,000 tons in the fall of 2004. The company said it would build the plant on the territory of Ventspils port and would export its production to Sweden, Denmark and the U.K.
The Lithuanian oil group Mazeikiu Nafta has started selling high-quality arctic diesel fuel in the Baltic states. The fuel is resistant to freezing at temperatures as low as 32 degrees Celcius. "We are convinced that the second-grade diesel will satisfy even the most demanding drivers," said Paul Nelson English, MN's CEO.
Latvia's Freedom Monument was given a gratis 1 million lat (1.5 million euro) insurance policy by the country's second largest insurer, BTA. Riga Mayor Gundars Bojars, who accepted the policy, said that the City Council was prepared to take responsibility for Milda even though the monument belongs neither to the state nor to the city of Riga. The president of the Latvian Insurers Associ-ation, Ivars Prieditis, said that was the first case of insuring a monument in Latvia.