Business News


In Business News this week: the price of some flats has begun falling in parts of the Czech Republic, according to press reports; the most common car on Czech roads is the Škoda Felicia, though the number of domestically produced autos owned by Czechs has fallen in recent years; operators of multiplex cinemas are increasingly looking to the regions as the market in Prague becomes saturated – though audience numbers have fallen significantly; and goat farming is becoming more common due to subsidies and demand for organic food.

Flat prices falling in some parts of country, beginning to stagnate in Prague

Nusle,  photo: Radio Prague
The price of some types of flats has begun falling in parts of the Czech Republic, Hospodářské noviny reported this week, citing new figures from the Institute of Regional Information. In the first half of this year, the average price of older flats in Ostrava, Jihlava and Plzeň dropped by up to 3 percent, the newspaper reported. The country’s second city Brno saw a marked slowdown in price growth from 15 percent to just 0.5 percent. The price of mid-sized older apartments in Prague grew by 5 percent, though it stopped growing in May. A real estate expert told Hospodářské noviny prices of both new and older properties in the capital were stagnating due to the high number of new flats being built.

Property in Prague second most expensive in Visegrad states

Meanwhile, property prices in Prague are the second highest among the Visegrad Four countries, according to a report released by King Sturge this week. Warsaw is the most expensive Visegrad Four city in which to buy a home, the international real estate consultants said.

Multiplex operators expand to regions as Prague becomes saturated…

Operators of multiplex cinemas are increasingly looking to the Czech Republic’s regional centres as the market in Prague becomes saturated, Hospodářské noviny reported this week. The company IMAX-Cinema City is opening a new cinema in Pardubice later this year, while rival CineStar is planning new multiplexes in Liberec and Jihlava later this year and one in Ústí nad Labem in 2009. The number of small cinemas in the Czech Republic fell by two-thirds in the 1990 to 2007 period, when the number of multiplexes went from zero to 19. The latter had a 64 percent share of the cinema market last year.

…though ticket sales are falling sharply

At the same time, the number of viewers is falling. Almost 5.3 million tickets were sold at Czech cinemas in the first half of this year, around 1.4 million fewer than in the same period in 2007, according to figures released this week by the Film Distributors Association. Operators also recorded a significant fall in revenues. The biggest hits at the Czech box office this year have been the latest Indiana Jones and Narnia movies.

Škoda Felicia number one car on Czech roads though number of domestically produced autos down

The most common car on Czech roads is the Škoda Felicia, with more than 400,000 registered at the end of June, according to the country’s Automotive Industry Association. The average age of Felicias owned by Czech drivers is 11.35 years. The second most common automobile is another Škoda, the Fabia. But while nearly 40 percent of all cars in the Czech Republic are made by the Mladá Boleslav based Škoda, there has been a fall in the share of domestically produced autos: in 1999 they accounted for 53.1 percent, while this year that figure stood at 40.15 percent.

Goat breeding business growing

Goat breeding is really catching on in the Czech Republic, according to a new report by the Agriculture Ministry. Production of goat’s milk and cheese has risen considerably in recent years as farmers have increased the size of their herds. While in 2001 there were over 14,300 goats registered in the Czech Republic, last year that number had risen to more than 16,600. Goat farms first began to appear in this country in the early 1990s; thanks to both subsidies and growing demand for organic food there are now a dozen farms with over 100 goats.