In Business News this week: Regulator to consult public on shake up of electricity charges; Betting company Synot cuts backing for Czech sports; Nuclear fuel supply contract being prepared for Temelín; Czech advertising market climbs in 2015; Škoda: Czech car sales to increase by five percent this year.
The Czech energy regulatory office on Thursday unveiled that it will be undertaking a near year-long consultation on a proposed shake up of electricity distribution tariffs in the country. The consultation is aimed primarily at getting feedback from households and small consumers. An original study prepared for the shake up proposed an increase of up to 90 percent for the many Czechs having country homes. This has been pared back to around 45 percent but is still likely to spark an angry reaction from around half of the Czech population who have such country retreats. The shake-up has been sparked by wider changes in the electricity market such as a sharp increase in renewable and local power production and the need to re-balance the charges burden for the network.
Czech-based betting company Synot announced Thursday that it is ending its sponsorship of the top Czech football league. It will also terminate its sponsorship of first league clubs Sparta Prague, Jablonec, and the Nymburk basketball club as well as its wider support for the Czech Sporting Union. Synot said its move was prompted by changes in betting legislation which will cost it hundreds of millions of crowns. It would not be possible to support its Czech activities with earnings from foreign operations it added. Synot said it would continue supporting sport in other countries which provided an environment for activities to prosper.
State-controlled power company ČEZ has confirmed that it will prepare this year a tender for nuclear fuel supply for its Temelín nuclear power plant. The tender could be held at the latest by mid-2017. The current contract is held by the Russian supplier TVEL, which has raised concerns in some quarters over Czech energy security. US supplier Westinghouse at one stage supplied fuel for Temelin and has in the past said it would like to be in the running again.
The overall Czech advertising market climbed last year by around 8 percent to 65 billion crowns according to figures released by the agency Nielsen Admosphere. Television grabbed the biggest slice of the market with revenues rising to 35.5 billion crowns. Radio ad income rose by around 5 percent to 6.0 billion but revenues for newspapers and magazines were flat at just short of 18 billion crowns. There was no separate breakdown for internet ad income.
Sales of new passenger cars on the Czech market are expected to rise this year by about five percent, the head of Škoda Luboš Vlček said on Wednesday. Sales could reach 220,000 to 240,000 cars compared to last year’s 230,000. Estimates of the international consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers are more optimistic, putting the growth at 10 to 15 percent. Last year, local car sales were up by 20 percent with Škoda taking around a third of the local market for new car sales.