Business News

Photo: European Commission

In Business News this week: Czech agriculture shows record profit in 2014; state debt set to drop by 20 billion crowns; company owned by Finance Minister Babiš wins huge tender for logging and timber sale; Tatra Trucks posts profit of over 3.5 billion crowns; and Amazon will be renting 5,500 square metres of offices in Prague.

Czech farming industry shows record profit

Photo: European Commission
Czech agriculture has shown a record profit in 2014, according to figures released this week by the Czech Statistics Office. The farming industry has reached a record 19.8 billion crowns, an increase of 22 percent year-on-year. 2011 was the best year ever for the industry, with a profit of 17.4 billion crowns. This year’s strong results are attributed mainly to higher European subsidies and record yields of grain and rape seed.

CR’s state debt to drop by CZK 20 billion

Photo: Barbora Kmentová
The Czech Republic’s state debt this year will drop by around 20 billion crowns year-on-year, to 1.6 billion crowns. It will be the first decrease in state debt since 1995. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš said at a conference at Prague Castle this week that the reduction of the state debt was a huge success. He also pointed out that the Czech Republic had one of the best ratings among Central and Eastern European countries.

Babiš’s Uniles wins large forestry tender

Photo: Barbora Němcová,  Radio Prague International
Czech company Uniles, part of the Agrofert Group owned by Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, has won a five-year tender for logging work and timber sale declared by the state forestry company Lesy ČR. Uniles has signed eight out of a total of 33 contracts so far. The company is expected to reach an annual logging output of about 300,000 cubic metres of wood on its contracted area. The state-run Lesy ČR owns about half of the Czech Republic’s forests. Most of the forestry work is done by private companies selected in tenders.

Tatra Trucks posts profit over CZK 3.5 billion

Photo: Tatra
Czech heavy-duty trucks producer Tatra Trucks will post a profit of over 3.5 billion crowns this year, roughly a billion more than in 2013, the daily Hospodářské noviny wrote on Thursday. It is the best result for Tatra since 2008. The manufacturer sold around 840 trucks this year, exceeding its expectations by around 15 percent. The company owes its success mainly to a 4.5 billion crown deal with the Saudi Arabian army under which it is set to provide 750 vehicles by 2017.

Amazon to rent new offices in Prague

Photo: Czech Television
The US online retailer Amazon will be renting 5,500 square metres of offices in a new administrative building in Prague’s district of Dejvice, the daily E15 reported this week. The US internet giant is currently building a large warehouse in Dobrovíz near Prague, in addition to an existing returns centre. The warehouse, which should be completed by the end of June 2015, will create up to 2,000 jobs. Amazon was also planning to build another warehouse in Brno, but the plans have been rejected over zoning issues and a new location has not yet been found.