In Business News this week: miners plan protest against management at OKD; the Czech firearms manufacturer Česká zbrojovka expects increased revenues; the Czech Republic drops seven spots in global competitiveness rankings; South Moravian breweries will be busy in the month of September launching a number of special beers.
Miners plan protest at OKD
Miners in North Moravia announced this week they will hold a demonstration in Ostrava in mid-September to protest management at the OKD mining company. The head of the association of mining unions Jaromír Pytlík told the Czech News Agency that those taking part would be fighting to preserve jobs and try and secure better wages. The firm’s management is considering shutting down the Paškov Mine in North Moravia which employs 3,500 people. Union leader Jan Sábel this week slammed OKD co-owner Zdeněk Bakala saying he did not think it should be hard to find money for miners given, in his estimate, the businessman had seen profits of some 50 billion crowns over seven years.
Firearms manufacturer Česká zbrojovka expects revenues of 2.5 billion crowns
The Czech firearms manufacturer Česká zbrojovka expects revenues of 2.5 billion crowns in 2013, the firm’s vice president for communications Radek Hauerland has said. The firm expects to produce 223,000 firearms in 2013 compared to 181,000 last year. The company has grown to 1,600 employees, roughly 100 new employees per year over the last three or four years, Mr Hauerland said. The company’s biggest contract in 2013, the sale of firearms to Egypt, was put on hold due to increased violence in the country. The firm, based in Uherský Brod, delivered 15,000 guns to Egypt but has not delivered an additional 35,000.
Czech Republic again drops in global competitiveness ranking
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Czech Republic had dropped by seven notches to 46th place on the Competitiveness Index compiled by the World Economic Forum. The country’s placement in the rankings has been slipping since 2009; currently, the Czech Republic ranks behind countries like Azerbaijan and territories like Puerto Rico. World Economic Forum experts tie the Czech Republic’s poor placement in the index largely to a poor functioning of state institutions, as well as a general distrust in the state and its politicians among entrepreneurs, worse – apparently – only in Lebanon and Argentina.
South Moravian breweries prepare new beers
South Moravian brewers are preparing a number of special releases in the month of September; according to the Czech News Agency, the castle brewery in Břeclav will prepare a special St. Wenceslas beer for September 28, in celebration of the patron saint of Bohemia on what is also the day of Czech statehood. According to the press agency, the brewery in Výškov, meanwhile, will produce a pale ale from American hops, while Brno’s larger Starobrno brewery will launch a new beer with 5.3 percent alcohol. The new beer is to have an extra hoppy flavour. ČTK notes that Starobrno is increasingly tying its marketing to that of hockey club Kometa Brno.
Almost six thousand vehicles in country run on CNG
The number of vehicles in the Czech Republic running on compressed natural gas, while unquestionably modest, jumped by 45 percent year-on-year, the Natural Gas and Bio-methane as Transport Fuel association announced on Friday. There are now 5,800 of the vehicles registered in the Czech Republic. CNG remains far behind the other alternative fuel, liquefied petroleum gas or LPG. There are 200,000 vehicles that run on LPG in the Czech Republic and the alternative fuel is well-supported: the country has more than 800 LPG pumps.