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Finnish retail giant Kesko is considering plans to start supplying Estonian milk to its Finnish supermarkets. Harri Sivula, deputy head of Ruokakesko, said that Estonian milk was of good quality and had a favorable price. "I believe that foreign products would be acceptable to some Finns. For instance, with products sold by Lidl the consumer does not know where they are produced," said Sivula.
Once it enters the Baltic states the German retail giant Lidl is expected to choose Lithuanian suppliers due to their competitive prices. Estonia's press reported that Lidl has already reached agreements with some Lithuanian producers on supplies, even though Lidl itself was reluctant to confirm these reports. "Lidl normally tries to trade in local products, because local suppliers usually offer them better terms," said Vaidotas Variavicius, CEO of Vilniaus Margarinas. According to earlier reports, Lidl is planning to open its first stores in the Baltics next year.
Latvia's Minister of Economy Juris Lujans said he believed that this was not the right time to privatize the state owned 38.6 percent of Ventspils Nafta. No sale is on the agenda as the necessary privatization regulations have not been approved and the situation within the company is currently not advantageous, the minister's press secretary said. The ministry is currently working on a report on privatizing the strategic oil terminal, whose 2002 losses are expected to amount to 6.9 million lats (10.6 million euros).
KCI Konecranes, the Finnish manufacturer of cranes, is to close one production unit in Finland and transfer it to Estonia. Konecranes plans to close its production unit in Tammisaari, employing 24 workers, and transfer it to Estonia, according to the daily Eesti Paevaleht. To strengthen its presence in Estonia, the firm plans to acquire its long-time cooperation partner in Estonia, Konesko. The Tammisaari plant will be relocated to Estonia since labor costs in Finland are too high, officials said. Last year Konesko made a profit of more than 10 million kroons (645,000 euros) on sales of 50 million kroons.
Tele2 Eesti won the daily Aripaev's ranking of Estonia's Top 100 most successful corporations for the second year in a row. The company's success is particularly striking considering that judging by its 2000 results it ended up in 33rd place two years ago. "There are few companies in Estonia that make over 100 million kroons (6.45 million euros) in profit. We succeeded in making it two years running," said Chairman of Tele2 Eesti Ullar Jaaksoo.