Business News

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In this week’s Business News: business confidence slips in March; Prague airport advances hub ambitions; eBay seeks to sell in Czech; car makers on same results track; and exchange plans represent gain for Czech capital.

Business confidence falls back for the first time in five months

Photo: archive of ČRo 7 - Radio Prague
Confidence in the economy slipped slightly in March according to the national statistics office. The overall confidence indicator fell back by 0.6 points compared with February. It is the first retreat in five months and a sign of how fragile the recovery still is. Industrial confidence fell by 0.4 points and consumer confidence by 1.2 points. Gains in previous months mean the overall index stands at 88.3 points compared with 75.3 in March 2009. The index was set at 100 in 2005.

Prague airport positions itself as hub for eastern destinations

Václav Havel international airport,  photo: archive of Radio Prague
Prague airport’s ambitions to position itself as an international transfer hub are taking shape following the decision of Emirates Airlines to launch regular daily flights to the city from Dubai. Prague airport has announced a mid-term ambition to take on Vienna Airport as a gateway to Eastern Europe. That means stepping up long distance international flights into the airport and developing onward destinations. Altogether, Prague has announced 131 summer timetable destinations. New destinations include Kazakh capital Astana and the Russian cities of Novosibirsk and Kazan.

eBay seeks to tempt Czech buyers with local language offering

Global online marketplace eBay has taken another step into the Czech market with the launch of its international market service in the Czech language. The step should help Czechs buy goods offered anywhere in the world. But Czechs can still not sell internationally via eBay. The Czech Republic was one of six European countries where local language versions of the international service were rolled out. Many local internet marketplaces and auction sites have already developed well ahead of eBay such as Aukro and hyperinzerce. Ebay suggests buyers will be tempted because some goods are cheaper abroad than in the Czech Republic.

Car makers boost sales but profits fail to follow

Two of the Czech Republic’s three car manufacturers announced 2009 results this week. And the picture at Škoda Auto and joint venture TPCA is more or less the same with sales up but profits down or unchanged. In spite of record car sales, Škoda Auto net profits fell by around two-thirds to around 3.5 billion crowns last year. Toyota and Peugeot Citroen joint venture TPCA said sales were up by almost 6.0 percent but pre-tax profit was flat at around 1.4 billion crowns.

Prague set to gain from Deutsche Börse cost cutting

Prague is set to profit from some more de-localisation by Germany’s prestigious stock exchange service company Deutsche Börse. It has announced the relocation of around 370 staff out of expensive Frankfurt and Luxembourg as part of an ongoing cost cutting programme. Two-thirds of them will be re-sited in Prague. The Czech capital already hosts most of Deutsche Börse’s back office settlement and information technology operations.