Business News

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In Business News this week: power giant ČEZ sees its net profits rise by almost 50 percent; Czech agriculture shows record profits thanks to EU subsidies and higher prices; CzechTrade mediates CZK 3 billion worth of exports; after four years in the red Czech Airlines makes a profit; and a quarter of inspections of chain store outlets last year uncovered shortcomings.

ČEZ sees profits rise by nearly 50 percent

The state-controlled Czech power giant ČEZ just keeps getting more gigantic; this week it posted 2007 net profits of CZK 42.8 billion, a 49% year-on-year increase. That makes it the Czech Republic’s most profitable company. ČEZ also has faster profit growth than any other major power producer in Europe.

Czech agriculture shows record profits

Czech agriculture showed record profits in 2007, Hospodářské noviny reported on Friday. The farming industry last year saw profits of CZK 14 billion (nearly USD 850 million) – nearly double the figure for 2006. Those strong results have been attributed to higher European Union subsides and the rising price of foodstuffs.

CzechTrade helps broker exports worth CZK 3 billion

Foto: Evropská komise
CzechTrade, the government agency helping Czech businesses abroad, mediated exports worth over CZK 3 billion last year, general director Ivan Jukl told reporters this week. The number of deals it helped broker increased by around a quarter year-on-year. Close to half of those exports went to Russia. CzechTrade had 33 branches around the world by the end of 2007.

CSA makes profit after four years in red

After four years in the red, Czech Airlines made a net profit of CZK 111 million (USD 6.6 million) in 2007, the state-run concern said this week. That turnaround in the national carrier’s fortunes was due to both increased sales and the sale of non-core assets, including its cargo terminal unit. CSA, with 50 planes flying to over 100 destinations, said it expects profits to more then triple this year. The government is planning to sell off both Czech Airlines and Prague Airport.

Quarter of inspections of chain stores reveal shortcomings

Shortcomings were uncovered in 25 percent of checks of chain-store outlets in this country last year, said a spokesperson for the Czech Business Inspectorate. The most frequent offences were unclear pricing, wrong charges and the swindling of customers. The highest fine the state body imposed on a retailer last year was CZK 100,000, though it has the power to hand out fines of up to CZK 50 million. In any case the chains are going from strength to strength – the top ten chains increased their market share to 66 percent in 2007.