Business News

Photo: OKD

In this week’s Business News: mining company OKD heads for restructuring; hop crop seen rebounding; unemployment back on the up; Cobra delivers on tax evasion clampdown; more and older cars on road; and local wines make mark.

Creditors clear OKD restructuring

Photo: OKD
Creditors of the struggling Czech hard coal mining company OKD voted overwhelmingly that a restructuring of the firm be pursued to try and return it to profit. Only one creditor out of around 100 present at the regional court in Ostrava voted for the alternative of bankruptcy in which the company would be split up and assets sold off. Company management have been tasked with drawing up a restructuring plan which will be submitted to the court and creditors. The insolvency manager will remain Lee Louda. Louda earlier warned that creditors had little hope of reclaiming any of their debts if bankruptcy was the option chosen and added that it was unrealistic to sell off the assets and keep together the business as an operating concern.

Hops harvest rebounds

Photo: ČT24
The Czech hops harvest this year is expected to reach around 6,000 tones, just over a third more than the drought damaged harvest of around 3,800 tons in 2015, according to the association of hop growers. The total area devoted to cultivating hops has risen this year for the third year in a row. It now totals around 4,700 hectares, around 160 hectares more than in 2015. Most of the harvest will be gathered over the next two weeks.

June jobless total rises

Unemployment in the Czech Republic rose in June according to the Labour Office. The bump ended a steady drop in unemployment since February. The rate rose from 5.2 percent unemployment in June to 5.4 percent in July. Since the start of the summer holidays, some 393,000 people have been looking for work – up by around 8,000. At the same time, the number of jobs being offered went up to the highest level in eight years: some 136,000.

Cobra delivers 2.0 billion on tax clampdown

Photo: Miroslav Zimmer
Cobra, a special team established to fight tax dodging, has prevented tax evasion to the tune of more than two billion crowns in the first half of 2016, the spokesman of the National Centre against Organised Crime, Jaroslav Ibehej, announced on Wednesday. Nearly 50 percent of that amount was secured by regional teams. The anti-tax evasion squad Cobra was set up in June of 2014. According to the police, the team has prevented tax evasion of up to 6.2 billion crowns since its establishment.

More, and older, cars on Czech roads

Photo: Archive of Radio Prague
The number of passenger cars in the Czech Republic has increased by 116,000 to nearly 5.3 million cars in the first half of 2016, according to data of the Car Importers Association released on Wednesday. The average age of passenger cars has also increased, from 14.3 to 14.9 years. Škoda Auto remains the most popular make of car with nearly 1.8 million registered vehicles, followed by Volkswagen and Ford.

Czech wines please French taste buds

Photo: aka / CC 2.5 Generic
Twenty-five wines from the Czech Republic have made this year’s list of the world’s best wines, the Vins du Monde publication, which is released annually by the Union of French Winemakers, the Czech Wine Fund informed on Tuesday. The samples were tested by 130 members of the international jury at the end of February and beginning of March.