Business News

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This week in Business News, TV Prima makes money broadcasting the Euro 2008, despite the Czech team's exit; women managers on the rise; good trade results see the Czech crown break a new record against the Euro; the haléř is on its way out and drivers flock to independent gas stations in search of cheaper fuel.

TV Prima happy with Euro results.

Despite the early exit of the Czech team from Euro 2008 and the ensuing fears of a significant loss of revenue for broadcaster Prima, it appears that the station has managed to do more than break even. Prima acquired the exclusive Czech TV rights for Euro 2008, hoping that a strong Czech showing would lead to significant profits. But when the Czech team fell during the qualifying stages, concerns were raised that the estimated 100 million Crowns the station had paid for the rights would prove to be a bad investment. Now, the station says that although its figures fall far short of the anticipated 350 million crowns it expected to make had the Czech team progressed to the finals, the station has nonetheless made around 170 million in revenues.

Women managers on the rise.

Reports suggest that the Czech Republic is finally catching up with the rest of Europe in the number of women able to climb the corporate ladder. A number of prominent appointments in the country of female managers have done much to redress the balance. One such example is the Czech branch of the Henkel international cosmetics and cleaning powders firm, which has just appointed Jaroslava Jarkova to head its operations in the country. Another example is Jana Budikova, who recently became the head of the Czech and Slovak branch of German coffee chain Tchibo.

Positive trade results see crown break fresh record.

Friday morning saw the Czech crown break another record against the Euro. The currency traded at 23,72 crowns to the Euro, and 14,95 crowns to the dollar, before wakening slightly. The reasons for this latest spike are believed to be economic results released the same day, which show that the Czech Republic has a 9.2 billion crown trade surplus, four billion crowns higher than the previous year’s figures. The trade figures are good news for the country, demonstrating that exports continue to be strong. But fears over the strong crown continue. The trade figures also reveal that exports are in surplus with EU countries, while the Czech Republic actually has a trade deficit with non-EU countries – largely because it imports large quantities of raw materials, such as gas from Russia as well as cheap goods from China.

Farewell to the haléř.

What cents are to the dollar and pennies are to the pound, so has the haléř been to the Czech crown. But as the prices of goods rise, the haler has been struggling to remain a viable form of money. In 2003, the Czech bank eliminated the 10 and 20 haler pieces. Now, the last remnants of the sub currency are to disappear forever. This summer will see the withdrawal of the ultra-light, almost worthless aluminum 50 haléř coin as well as the already extremely rare twenty crown banknotes. But that is not all; the Czech National Bank has also announced plans to get rid of the 50 crown banknote, which already also exists as a large coin version. The reasoning behind the moves is clear, according to the bank – coins last longer than notes. As to why the haléř is disappearing, it is a matter of simple economics, the metal that the coin is made of, is fast becoming more valuable than the actual designated value of the coin itself.

Independent gas stations competing against high-price chains

Increasing gas prices in the Czech Republic have reportedly seen a boom in sales for smaller independent gas stations. The reason – the fuel they sell is often cheaper than that sold at the pumps of the larger retailers. This has caused a slight dip in sales at the largest gas stations, forcing them to admit that rather than reduced demand, cheaper gas from independent stations is the cause. Indeed, a lack of choice is no problem for Czech citizens – out of nine countries in Europe covered in a recent survey, they have the largest amount of gas stations per person – over 3,600 in total.