After a 500 million crown loss in 2006, the Czech national airline, CSA, expects to post a profit next year of 42 million crowns. CSA has just released its business plans for the coming year, and among the sources of new revenue it's counting on the sale of a cargo terminal and a catering business. This would put the airline back in the black a little earlier than expected, previously CSA had planned on seeing a net profit in 2008.
Groceries is a tough business in the Czech Republic these days. Ahold posted a loss of nearly 900 million crowns at its Czech grocery stores for 2005, despite a slight uptick in total sales. The parent company of the Albert and Hypernova chains, Ahold has 300 stores in the Czech Republic. Last month the Delvita chain announced it was leaving the Czech market after losses in 2005 of 1.7 billion crowns.
The country's largest employeer, Ceske Drahy or Czech Rail, agreed to raise its employees' pay by 5.6 percent in 2007. The raise is less than Ceske Drahy's 57,000 employees got last year - 5.7 percent - and less than the 7 percent the union was asking. The average monthly wage at Ceske Drahy is nearly 2,200 crowns, that's about 200 crowns more than the overall average for the Czech Republic.
Two of the Czech Republic's cable broadband providers may merge, says the Czech antitrust office. UPC, the country's largest cable and broadband provider, wants to buy Karneval to form a telecommunications service that will reach 800,000 Czech customers, and challenge Telefonica/O2. UPC must, however agree to not raise its prices beyond a certain level, said the antitrust office. This year the office approved all proposed mergers.
The daily Pravo reports that Czech state debt will top 800 million crowns in 2006. That puts the per capita Czech debt at 80,000 crowns, or about 4,000 US dollars. Czech state debt has been on the increase since 1997, and the government has come in for some criticism over it. In November an International Monetary Fund mission found that the Czech government was not doing a good job with public budgets.
Hospodarske Noviny reports that the Czech Republic is so far the only country on earth where it is possible to make a charitable donation via text message, known as a darkova esemeska, or DMS. The Forum Darcu, or Czech Donor's Forum, has an agreement with all mobile phone providers making it easy to deduct an amount from your prepaid Czech phone card, and send it to a charity of your choice.
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