Business News

Foto: Barbora Kmentová

In Business News this week: finance ministry to commission multi-billion crown deal on electronic sales register without open competition, number of companies on taxpayers blacklist growing, CEZ eyes Slovakia’s leading power company and Czech Airlines spreading its wings to new destinations.

Finance Ministry to commission electronic sales register without open competition

Photo: Barbora Kmentová
The Finance Ministry will commission a 25-billion-crown-order on the delivery and management of an electronic central sales register without an open competition, the business daily Hospodarské noviny writes. The ministry reportedly requested and received an exemption from the National Security Office on the grounds that an open tender could put at risk the private data of thousands of companies. The introduction of a central sales register is expected to improve the collection of taxes.

Number of companies on taxpayers blacklist growing

Photo: Filip Jandourek
The number of Czech companies which avoid paying VAT is growing, according to data from the central tax register released this week. The number of “unreliable” tax payers on the list has more than doubled between April and November of this year, going from 62 to 149 companies with a poor tax record. According to Jiří Fojtík from the Czech Financial Directorate the blacklist includes two firms with billion-crown turnovers, Heavy Machinery Services and Energotrade. The list of unreliable tax payers is available on the Financial Directorate’s website.

ČEZ eyeing Slovakia’s leading power company

Photo: Peko,  CC BY-SA 3.0
The Czech power utility ČEZ has shown an interest in buying a majority stake in Slovakia’s dominant power producer Slovenské Elektrarne (SE) which was put on the market by Italy’s energy group Enel. ČEZ spokeswoman Barbora Pulpánová confirmed that ČEZ had contacted Enel about a possible deal and had asked for information regarding the ongoing expansion of the Mochovice nuclear power plant. The plant’s expansion was launched in 1987 but put on hold due to a lack of funds. Enel renewed construction work on Mochovice’s third and fourth reactors in 2008 but has been falling behind schedule. Moreover, according to Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico the state, which owns 34 percent of SE, is not prepared to guarantee the price of electricity from the two new reactors. The Hungarian energy company MVM group is also interested in acquiring a majority stake in the Slovak company.

Czech Airlines expanding its flight destinations in the spring

Photo: ČSA
The ailing national carrier Czech Airlines has announced plans to expand its flight destinations in the spring of next year. After a year of cost-cuts and lay-offs the company is seeking to get a foothold in areas which offer economic and tourist potential. Among the new flight destinations are the Russian towns of Kazan and Kaliningrad, Norway’s Oslo, Ireland’s Cork, Bilbao in Spain and Bologna in Italy. ČSA planes will also be landing in Denmark. ČSA has had to lay off over 200 employees this year, including pilots and flight attendants, reduce its fleet of planes and generally cut costs.

Unicredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia posts 3.7 billion crown profit in 1st-3rd Q

Photo: archive of UniCredit Bank
UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia achieved a net profit of CZK 3.7 billion in the first three quarters of 2014, the bank said in a report on its web page. The bank’s customer deposits increased by 9% year-on-year and loans granted to clients increased by 7.2% in the Czech Republic and by 9% in Slovakia. The positive results are attributed to the gradual recovery of the economy which boosted interest in consumer and mortgage loans, as well as loans in support of start-up entrepreneurs and companies.