Business News

Photo: Filip Jandourek, ČRo
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In Business News: Czech Airlines posts first profit in several years; General director of AcelorMittal meets with PM; higher excise taxes on liquor and tobacco fails to meet expectations; Becherovka produces its first kosher liquor.

Czech Airlines posts first profit in several years

Photo: Filip Jandourek
Czech Airlines has posted its first profit in several years: 12.9 million crowns in the first half of 2015. Last year, in the same period, the carrier registered losses of 408.2 million. The airline says the turn-around is the result of crucial and often difficult restructuring – which included asset sales, layoffs and pay cuts. For example, stewards and stewardesses’ average gross monthly wages were scaled back from a previous 43,000 to around 32,000 crowns. On Friday, the airline management thanked employees who had accepted changes and helped the firm back on course.

General director of ArcelorMittal meets with PM

Photo: ArcelorMittal Ostrava
Prague this week played host to the general director of the world’s biggest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal. Lakshmi Mittal met with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and industry minister Jan Mládek to discuss plans for massive investments at its Ostrava plant. The Ostrava site could be in the frame for the construction of a state of the art steelwork which could safeguard thousands of jobs in the city. Discussions are believed to have focused on the state support that could bring that sort of investment to the Czech Republic.

Supreme Audit Office says collection of excise tax lagging behind numbers projected in state budget

Photo: Filip Jandourek
Higher excise taxes on spirits and tobacco products have not brought in as much revenue long-term as expected, the country’s Supreme Audit Office reveals in its EU 2015 report. According to the bureau, the state last year collected excise taxes worth a total of 141.3 billion crowns or 96.2 percent of the figure projected in the state budget; the amount collected on tobacco was slightly higher, at 93 percent while the number for liquor brought in four percent more than expected. The Supreme Audit Office began monitoring the situation last year to determine whether customs officials were effectively gathering excise taxes in line with the law. The operation will end in August and the results will be published a month after.

Czech Republic rates among top countries for German investment

Illustrative photo: Klára Stejskalová
The Czech Republic has been placed second on a list of countries attracting the most German investment, after Poland, a poll conducted by ČNOPK – The German-Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry found. In all, some 15 countries were ranked. Estonia, Slovakia, and Latvia were also placed in the top five. Spokesman Christian Rühmkorf confirmed that while the Czech Republic, for example, received high marks for economic stability, R&D, and the availability of local suppliers, it fared poorly in the area of skilled labour, contributing to the country’s second-place result.

First bottle of kosher Becherovka produced

Photo: CTK
Publicists for the Karlovy Vary-based liquor company Jan Becher announced on Friday the manufacturer had capped the first bottle of its brand-name liquor Becherovka Original certified kosher. Prior to receiving an international certificate signed by Rabbi Menachem Kalchheim, the production process and ingredients were verified. The kosher version of the brand is being produced largely for the Israeli market but will also be available in the Czech Republic.