Business News

Photo: Škoda Auto

In Business News this week: Škoda set to limit investment in India, Czech foodstuffs the sixth cheapest in the EU; Petr Kellner remains the richest Czech, biogas energy production exceeds solar plant production; Czech exports expected to reach record 3.6 billion crowns:

Škoda to limit investment in India

Photo: Škoda Auto
The car manufacturer Škoda Auto is set to limit its investment in India due to uncertainties in the industry, while the company has also postponed a small car project designed for the Indian market. Sudhir Rao, chairman and managing director of Škoda Auto India, said this week that issues such as a technology transfer agreement and a recent fine on several car makers, imposed by the Competition Commission of India, prompted the decision. Škoda Auto has so far invested around 750 million in India.

Czech foodstuff cheapest in EU

Photo: Eva Odstrčilová
Foodstuffs and soft drinks in the Czech Republic are the sixth cheapest in the European Union. According to data released by Eurostat, the prices of foodstuffs in the country represent 84 percent of the EU average. According to the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism, retail margins in Czech supermarkets remain among the lowest in the EU. However, the Federation of the Food and Drink Industries of the Czech Republic has criticised Czech supermarket chains for raising their retail margins.

Kellner remains to be richest Czech

Petr Kellner,  photo: archive of PPF
Despite problems in Russia, business tycoon Petr Kellner remains the richest Czech, with assets valued at 160 billion crowns (roughly 7.5 billion US dollars), according to a list of the richest Czech and Slovak businessmen put together this week by Euro weekly. The co-owner of investment group PPF is followed by finance minister and Agrofert owner Andrej Babiš, with 115 billion crowns. Pavel Tykač of Czech Coal placed third, with 31 billion crowns. Kellner’s assets have gone down by eight percent year-on-year due to the Russian economic crisis.

Biogas energy production exceeds solar plants production

Photo: European Commission
The amount of energy generated by biogas in the Czech Republic now exceeds that produced by solar plants, the news website Dotyk wrote this week. Czech biogas stations last year generated 2,134 GWh, while photovoltaic plants produced only 2,070 GWh. The trend is expected to continue this year. The Czech Republic currently has the fifth largest number of biogas plants in Europe, after Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France. According to Dotyk, the biogas industry received more than 20 billion crowns in state and European Union subsidies between 2004 and 2013. Operational subsidies this year are likely to exceed six billion crowns.

Czech exports to reach record of 3.6 billion crowns

Photo: Barbora Kmentová
Czech exports are expected to reach a record 3.6 billion crowns in 2014, despite the economic sanctions between the EU and Russia, an increase by 0.5 billion crowns from last year. The Association of Czech Exporters says a direct impact of Russian retaliatory sanctions on Czech exports next year is likely to amount to three billion crowns. Another five to eight billion are expected to be lost indirectly through re-exporting from other countries, mainly Germany. Czech exports are traditionally driven by the engineering and automotive industries.