In Business News this Friday: Distiller Stock Spirits will begin trading on the London Stock Market next month; Plzen’s Škoda Electric is expanding production; more and more Czechs are building their own homes; Prague’s mayor warns that Prague’s public transit company could face bankruptcy; operators of one of the country’s most popular ski hills will reportedly raise prices this season.
European distiller Stock Spirits will begin trading on the London Stock Market next month. The company is looking to sell at least a quarter of its stock as part of the initial offering. The firm is hoping to acquire an estimated 52 million pounds through the sale to help pay off debts, Reuters reports. The Stock Spirits group was founded in 2007 with support from Oaktree Capital Management; it is the second-largest producer of Czech and Polish vodka, along with the bitter drink Fernet. Earlier, in 2011, it weighed the option of offering stock on the bourse in Warsaw.
The Plzeň-based manufacturer Škoda Electric is on the upswing largely due to lucrative export contracts worth almost six billion crowns, Lidové noviny reports. Due to increased demand, Europe’s largest trolleybus manufacturer has enlarged its main production hall and is hiring dozens of new staff members. The firm currently employs 760 people. Next year the company is expected to produce around 30 trolleybuses per month, the firm’s general manager confirmed, stressing that some contracts had already been secured through 2015.
According to news site novinky.cz, the number of individuals or families opting to construct new homes on family plots by themselves – rather than through developers or construction companies, is on the rise: a jump of around 30 percent annually. Increasingly, Czechs are looking to both save and build quality homes, the web site said, citing analysis conducted by Svépomocí.cz. According to the report, around 5,000 such projects are currently underway in the country. Most such homes are reportedly built in Central Bohemia (18%) while Prague sees around 11 percent. The region with the lowest numbers are Karlovy Vary (0.6%) and Usti (0.8%). Pre-1989 the practice was widespread in the former Czechoslovakia.
Prague Mayor Tomáš Hudeček has warned that the city’s public transit authority, Dopravní podnik, is on the verge of bankruptcy, largely over a contract for new trams the company signed with Škoda Transportation. According to the mayor, the 2006 deal was increasing the transit authority’s debt by more than two billion crowns annually. He warned the firm will have to find some kind of alternative, renegotiating the terms of the original deal, or it will face restructuring within half a year’s time. For its part, Dopravní podnik, has filed almost 800 complaints over the 15T trams delivered by Škoda Transportation under the contract, all of which allegedly displayed technical problems or defects.
The lease-holders of one of the Czech Republic’s best-known ski resorts, Skiareál Špindlerův Mlýn, are planning major changes for the upcoming ski season, financial news site IHNED reports. According to the website, the lease holder wants a return on a 110 million crown investment within five years. Investment by the Melida company focussed on improved ski runs, après ski bars and safety equipment. Changes planned at the ski hill include a price hike in season passes; but, the operator will introduce new family passes and refundable tickets as well, where skiers can get back part of the cost of the ticket if they end up leaving early. This season a single daily ticket for adults will cost 750 crowns, an increase of 50 crowns, according to IHNED.
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