Business News

Photo: European Commission

In this week’s Business News: Three fifths of Czech bosses upbeat and ready to hire; regulator accuses companies of gas supply cartel; banks take different directions with latest profits; Tatra pushes hard on expansion pedal; and Czech perfume seller takes plunge in US market.

Optimism takes hold of Czech managers

Photo: Tomáš Adamec,  Czech Radio
Czech bosses are more optimistic about the economic outlook than their counterparts in the rest the world. Results from the latest EY Barometer survey show 58 percent of Czech managers believe the situation is improving. The figure is around twice as many when the same survey took place last year. Just short of three out of five Czech managers also said they would also be hiring more workers over the next year. Optimism is in shorter supply worldwide with just over half of managers believing things will get better. The survey was carried out by Ernst and Young.

Big power players accused of gas contract cartel

Photo: European Commission
The Czech energy regulator has rung the alarm on a suspected gas supply cartel involving some of the country’s biggest energy players. The Energy Regulatory Authority has called on the national competition office to probe the circumstances surrounding how five companies, including state-controlled power company ČEZ and gas supplier RWE, won contracts to supply pipeline operator y NET4GAS. The authority says the contract prices for 2015 climbed fivefold compared with2014 and that it can see no reason for such an enormous hike.

Unicredit storms ahead of rivals with profit figures

Photo: archive of UniCredit Bank
The Czech Republic’s big four banks have posted widely divergent results for the first nine months of the year. ČSOB was the last of the four to release its figures and these showed a near 2 percent drop in profit compared with the same period in 2013. Ceská Spořitelna saw a drop of just over 2 percent while Komerční Banka posted an improvement of around 1 percent. Way out ahead was the smallest of the big players - UniCredit Bank - which saw its net profit surge almost 17 percent.

Tatra seals China deal, delivers first trucks to Mexico

Photo: archive of Tatra
Iconic Czech truck maker Tatra appears to be firmly on the comeback road under new ownership. The manufacturer announced this week that it has signed a cooperation agreement with China and is investing 500 million crowns at its factory in the east of the country. The good news follows fast on the heels of the delivery of the first 16 heavy duty trucks to Mexico, which is earmarked as a promising new market. Tatra has this so far this year sold 840 trucks, exceeding its expectations by around 15 percent.

Successful Czech e-shop launches US sales

Photo: European Commission
And finally, one of the Czech Republic’s fastest growing e-shops is making what is hopes will be a sweet smelling debut in the United States. The company Internet Shop, which runs the portal, is reported to be the first Czech e-commerce business to launching in the US with local distribution and warehouse facilities. The initial target is to become one of the top five online sellers of beauty and perfume products in the states. Internet Shop has enjoyed phenomenal growth of around 450 percent in turnover over the last five years.