Business News

Black Hawk

In this week’s Business News: fewer workers in the population; equipment producer lands prestigious helicopter contract; TPCA plant in car recall; performance related pay sought for top state bosses; and Czech-owned brewery bucks downward sales.

Active population erodes because of unemployment and longer studies

The proportion of working Czechs in the population fell to 46.8 percent last year according to the national statistics office. This compares with 47.3 percent in 2006. A major factor in the change has been the sharp rise in unemployment over the last 12 months. Teenagers are also getting their first job later because they are prolonging their studies. Compared with the rest of the European Union, the study shows that slightly more men are working than the EU average but much fewer women. Only 56.6 percent of women aged between 15 and 64 work in the Czech Republic.

Black Hawk contract landed by Aero

Black Hawk
Czech aviation equipment producer Aero Vodochody has landed a contract to produce the cockpits of the US Black Hawk military helicopter. The contract with the helicopter’s manufacturer — Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation — runs for seven years with the possibility of a five-year extension. Deliveries of the cockpits should start next year. Financial details of the deal were not revealed. The company did however say that the Black Hawk deal is one of three signed since the start of the year worth a total of around 150 million euros.

TPCA joins worldwide car recall

The Czech joint-venture auto factory TPCA has been caught up in the recall of cars by the world’s biggest car manufacturer, Toyota. The French half of the joint venture with Toyota says that Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 models will also be recalled as part of the worries about faulty accelerator pedals. The models are produced at the joint factory at Kolín, around 60 kilometres east of Prague. The Czech plant says the recall could affect 150,000 cars. Toyota has recalled more than 8.0 million cars because of the suspect accelerators, more than its total volume of car production last year.

Ministry outlines performance pay plans for top state bosses

Government officials have started to fill in some of the details of how they want to clampdown on the high pay packets of top managers in state firms. The Ministry of Finance has come up with a formula under which top managers would only be guaranteed around 50 percent of their current earnings. At least 30 percent would be based on the company’s performance over the last three to five years and a maximum 20 percent based on the current year. Limited room would be allowed for bonuses. Top manager’s wages and perks have come under fire in recent years with many earning more in a month than an average Czech makes in a year. The Finance Ministry wants to push through changes before May.

Czech-owned brewer bucks downward sales

K Brewery, one of the last major brewery groups in Czech hands, bucked the beer sales trend last year. While most major breweries recorded dropping domestic sales, K Brewery experienced a 7.0 percent rise. The brewery groups six small and medium-sized breweries, with a seventh due to join this year. The breweries have sought to keep close to their traditional brewing methods and brews. These include Platan and Klášter. Preliminary figures suggest that beer sales in the Czech Republic fell in 2009 by around 8.0 percent.