In this week’s Business News: Slevomat hits billion crown mark; sour taste for soup makers; further blow for Temelín; steady growth seen for Czech tourism; and Juta sets ambitious goals.
Turnover of the biggest Czech Internet site offering cut price purchases topped one billion crowns last year. Slevomat announced an around 25 percent rise in its business compared with 2012. The recent trend has been for a drastic consolidation of Czech websites offering cut price bargains with their number halved to just over 50 in the last 12 months. The biggest six sites are now estimated to command around 80 percent of the total business.
The craze for tv cooking shows is having an unwelcome impact on sales of packet soup. Czechs are deserting the instant soups for their own do it yourself attempts with fresh ingredients. According to some reports, sales of packet soup and sauce are around five percent down over the last year. The current Norwegian owner of iconic Czech soups producer, Vitana, is seeking a buyer for the company with a deal expected this year, according to the daily Dnes.
A poll of lower house lawmakers will cast further gloom on the two international rivals seeking to land the tender to double the size of the Temelín nuclear reactor. The poll by business weekly Ekonom revealed 98 out of the total 200 lawmakers are opposed to the guaranteed electricity prices being sought for the project to go ahead. It found only 31 firmly in favour. Electricity producer ČEZ says it won't sign a contract with US based Westinghouse or a rival Russian led consortium without some sort of state guarantees.
The Czech Republic should attract 2-3 percent more tourists this year than last. National tourism promoter, Czech Tourism, has set its sights on the target but warns both the capital and provinces have a long way should improve their act. Prague needs to tempt visitors to stay for more than the average two nights and regions are failing to pull in guests on their own account or from the capital, the agency says.
A Czech company that started out making jute bags is successfully expanding into artificial sports pitches. Juta is reckoned to already have half the Czech market for pitches using artificial grass. And a quality certificate from international football’s governing body, FIFA, last year has helped it land orders in 22 countries worldwide. The FIFA approval means much bigger goals on the horizon.