According to analysts contacted by the Czech Press Agency, net profits of Czech energy colossus ČEZ stumbled by 11% year-on-year in the first half of 2011 to roughly 25.5 billion crowns. Economists put the drop down to lower prices of electricity sold and unfavourable trends in the crown to euro rate. Profits were also brought down by new taxes on emissions vouchers and the solar energy plant tax. ČEZ will publish its results for the first half of the year on Tuesday before stock markets open.
In today’s business news: A debate on tax reform has been postponed due to a dispute over flat expense deductions between the prime minister and the finance minister, the bankrupt betting giant Sazka is to be sold in a public tender, grocery chains launch online discount coupons, the Czech Tourism agency announces a campaign targeting gay and lesbian travelers, and an American journal finds that Czech banknotes have some of the world’s highest levels of a potentially dangerous chemical.
The Czech construction firm Bögl a Krýsl will participate in a 4.5 billion crown deal to finish the construction of a highway between the Polish cities of Warsaw and Lodz, the Czech news website ihned.cz reported on Wednesday. The firm is part of a consortium of companies that will finish the job started by a Chinese firm which was recently fired by the investor for a severe costs hike. The 20-km stretch of highway should be finished in October 2012.
In Business News this week: foreign investment in the Czech Republic rises to pre-crisis levels; the country’s grey economy amounts to 565 billion crowns; the Transport Ministry plans to raise road toll by 25 pct next year; decrease of new cars’ prices in the Czech Republic are among fastest in Europe; debts of Czech household keep rising and are more difficult to collect; and the famed Czech distiller Rudolf Jelínek is moving its headquarters to Holland.
Direct investments from foreign investors reached a total of about 113 billion Czech crowns in 2010, a 56 percent increase year-on-year, according to fresh data published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Investments were also up slightly compared to the pre-crisis year 2008. According to a spokesperson for CzechInvest, the data shows that economies worldwide have recovered from the world financial crisis. He added that this is palpable in the Czech Republic as well, and that in 2009, investments had dropped by 42 percent as a consequence of the global financial melt-down. Worldwide, foreign investments grew by 1.24 billion US dollars in 2010 year-on-year.
Representatives of the Czech agriculture and food industry have warned against devastating effects a planned hike in VAT might have on the country’s farmers and food processors. The head of the Federation of the Food and Drink Industries, Miroslav Toman, told Czech TV on Sunday if the government goes ahead and raises the VAT rate to 19 percent, the industry might shrink by up to 20 percent as a result, while food prices will increase by some 25 percent, according to the head of the Czech Agrarian Chamber, Jan Veleba. The center-right government is considering raising the VAT to 19 percent to make up for falling tax revenues.
In today’s business news: The European Commission launches an antitrust investigation into the Czech energy giant ČEZ, self-employed individuals may be among those who profit from an overhaul of the Czech pension system, a new law eliminates advertising on two public TV channels, Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová’s marketing potential receives a significant boost due to her Wimbledon victory, the regional brewery Svijany posts record profits in 2010 and Czechs pay up to 20 percent more for mobile phone services than clients in neighboring
The Czech Republic’s Foreign trade ended in May with a surplus of 14.4 billion crowns, which is a year-on-year increase of 3.2 billion CZK, the Czech Statistical Office reports. Preliminary data shows an increase in cross-border exports in May of 18.2% and 17.5in imports. Foreign trade turnover grew by 17.8% year-on-year to 470.6 billion – 61.2 billion more than in May of 2008, prior to the global financial crisis.
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