Czech car-maker Škoda auto raised its operating profit by more than 30 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2015, to 242 million euros (approximately 6.6 billion crowns), according to information released by the owner of Škoda, German concern Volkswagen, on Wednesday. The sales of the Czech Republic’s biggest car maker grew by six percent in the same period to 3.2 billion euros. According to the report, Škoda Auto sold 217,000 cars in 2014, which is 1.3 percent more than in the previous year. Last year, the sale of the company’s cars rose by 12.7 percent and for the first time exceeded the one million mark.
Power utility ČEZ should launch a new tender for the construction of further nuclear units next year at the latest, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš told Czech Radio on Monday. In the interview, he described 2016 as the "ultimate" deadline, pointing out one new reactor block each were needed at Dukovany and at Temelín. But, according to ČEZ CEO Daniel Beneš, neither the date nor the location of further nuclear units has been decided yet. ČEZ will tailor further activities depending on the state energy policy draft which is yet to be approved by the government. The policy is to define, among other things, when and where new nuclear units should be built. In April of last year, ČEZ cancelled a tender to build two new units at the Temeíin nuclear power plant in southern Bohemia. The main reason was the government's decision not to provide state guarantees. According to Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mládek, the most feasible option is to build new units under the leadership of a new subsidiary of ČEZ.
Some 60 Czech firms are presenting their goods at the Shanghai International Technology Fair, within a Czech Days in Shanghai promotion event organized by the Czech China Chamber of Commerce, the ctk news agency reports. The participants are businesses from high-tech sectors: environmental technology, machinery, aviation, IT and nano and bio technologies, among others. Skoda Auto which is already well-established on the Chinese market is presenting it latest models. A Czech-Chinese business forum is also being held on the sidelines of the fair, attended by Czech Industry Minister Jan Mládek and the Speaker of the lower house of Parliament Jan Hamáček. A Czech Moser glass store is to open in Shanghai on Saturday.
In Business News this week: Czech public finance deficit to gradually drop to 0.6 percent in 2018; Škoda Auto agrees with unions on 3.5 percent salary hike; Zdeněk Bakala steps down from NWR board of directors; Cetelem discusses purchase of loss-making Zuno bank; Prague loses 40 million a year on SMS transport tickets. More
Hundreds of people from seven localities on Saturday held simultaneous events in protest of a nuclear waste repository being planned by the government. Protestors walked along paths that would be closed to the public if a repository were built in their respective area. This was the first time that protests were held on the same day in all seven areas. If built, the nuclear waste repository will go into operation in 2065. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said he believed that the state would find a reasonable solution that people would not oppose. He told Czech TV the aim was to create a repository which would not be a threat to the environment. Once a suitable location is chosen, the deep geological facility will take some 15 years to complete.
Unions at the Czech Republic’s biggest car maker Škoda Auto have given warning that they will be striking over the continued failure to agree a new pay deal with bosses. The first action will take place on April 15 with a meeting and employees working an hour less than usual. The action will cover all three of the carmaker’s main plants. Management have initially offered a wage increase of 3.0 percent while unions demanded 6.5 percent. They have since moderated their demands slightly. They pay deal for the previous 12 months ended in March.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has backed continued mining of uranium in the country after the existing mine shuts down in a few years. But although government ministers support the idea, the overall economic argument is looking weak amid low prices for nuclear fuel. More
Current AffairsCzech Republic has potential to become world leader in nanotechnology, says deputy PM
The Czech Republic has the potential to become a world leader in nanotechnology, Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek said on Tuesday, referring to the country’s long-term commitment in research and development in the field. A patent dating back to 2004 proved a game changer and a number of firms have since added to the initial success. More
Kvasiny, one of Skoda’s three production facilities in the Czech Republic is to undergo a major expansion- the biggest in its 81-year old history. Underlining the significance of the plant’s presence in the region, the Czech government has promised a two billion crown injection to support the transformation. More
Škoda Auto’s plans to expand the Solnice-Kvasiny industrial zone have won government support and the car maker can count on a financial injection from the state. Prime Minister Bouslav Sobotka on Monday signed a memorandum with Škoda Auto representatives according to which the project will get about 2 billion crowns from public resources. The money will be used for infrastructure projects in the zone. Škoda itself will invest 7 billion crowns to expand the plant’s capacity. The plant’s expansion is expected create 1,300 new jobs will present more opportunities for regional suppliers.