Business News

Photo: Jin Zan, CC BY-SA 3.0

In Business News this week: central bank see faster growth but lowers inflation expectations; Hamleys to open flagship store in Prague; German owners seen selling up chain of regional dailies; Caterpillar mining unit to closes; and Czech unmanned aircraft company targets 2016 production.

Central bank ups 2015 growth but lowers inflation expectations

Photo: Miroslav Zimmer
The Czech National Bank has upped its growth forecast for this year to 3.8 percent from its previous 2.6 percent. But it now sees a more gloomy outlook for 2016 with expected growth cut to 2.8 percent from May’s 3.2 percent. The bank lowered its inflation expectations, seeing a 1.8 percent rate by the end of 2016 instead of its previous expectation of 2.1 percent. The bank has a target for inflation to be around 2.0 percent.

Global toyshop chain to open flagship Prague store

Photo: Jin Zan, CC BY-SA 3.0
Legendary toys retailer Hamleys is set to open one of its biggest stores worldwide in the centre of Prague. The new store, covering more than 6,000 square metres, will be slightly bigger than Hamleys flagship outlet in London but is expected to emulate its success and visitor numbers. Around one million customers, big and small, cross the threshold of the Regent Street store every year. The Prague store will be the company’s first on Central Europe.

Last German media owner seen exiting Czech market

Photo: archive of Radio Prague
The last major Czech newspaper group in German hands should be sold to the local investment group Penta within two weeks, the business daily Hospodářské Noviny announced this week. Penta is reported to be finalizing terms for the takeover of the publisher Vltava-Labe-Press. It’s main asset is a network of regional daily papers with a total readership of around 630,000. German newspaper groups piled into the Czech media market in the early 1990s but have been bought out by Czech companies and oligarchs in recent years.

Czech mining equipment company set for closure

Illustrative photo: Daniel Burda
Caterpillar Global Mining Czech, the Czech mining division of the US corporation, will shut down its Ostrava factory by the end of the year with the loss of just over 200 jobs. The US-based global machinery and equipment company says it has worldwide overcapacity for production of mining equipment and components and that some production will be shifted to China. Caterpillar took over the Ostrava company in 2011.

Unmanned Czech aircraft set for production launch in 2016

Photo: Primoco UAV
A Czech company which has developed a mid-sized unmanned aircraft capable of taking moderate loads of up to 10 kilos expects to start production by the end the year. Primoco UAV says it hopes to start production in January after receiving dozens of orders on the basis of its prototype plane. The unmanned aircraft can fly more than 400 kilometres and stay in the air for around eight hours. The company says its business applications include surveying work, checking telecommunications infrastructure, and crowd surveillance. Russia and the Middle East are seen as some of the most promising markets.