Business News

Фото: Кристина Макова
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In Business News this week: Czech retail sales rise by almost 7 percent; is the disappearance of 100 million litres of milk due to illegal smuggling?; Czech drinks maker Rudolf Jelínek buys a fruit brandies plant in Chile; Czech wind power stations more than double their output; and CSA comes first among 26 European airlines in terms of punctuality of departures.

Retail sales rise 6.8 percent but should slow this year

Retail sales in the Czech Republic rose 6.8 percent year-on-year in constant prices in 2007, according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office. The fastest growth since 1997 was driven by decreasing unemployment, a rise in real wages and a credit boom. However, this year the growth in retail sales is expected to slow to 4–5 percent, due to faster inflation and tighter monetary policy.

Hundred million litres of milk unaccounted for

One of the stranger business stories this week was the disappearance of 100 million litres of milk. Hospodářské noviny reported that the Ministry of Agriculture – which for quota purposes is required by the EU to keep production records – was unable to account for the missing milk, worth CZK 1 billion. But the newspaper offered one possible explanation: unnamed sources suggested smugglers were breaking production quotas and illegally exporting milk, mainly to neighbouring Germany.

Rudolf Jelínek buys factory in Chile

The famous Czech liquor manufacturer Rudolf Jelínek has invested around CZK 25 million in a distillery producing fruit brandies in Chile. CEO Pavel Dvořáček said the acquisition would lead to savings in production costs, adding that it was the first time any Czech company had made a direct investment in the South American country. Rudolf Jelínek, founded in 1894 and based in south Moravia, is perhaps best known as a producer of the plum brandy slivovice.

Wind power production more than doubles

The Czech Republic’s wind power plants produced two and a half times more electricity in 2007 than in the previous year, the Energy Regulatory Office said this week. That increase was partly due to the country’s biggest wind station at Kryštofovy Hamry in north Bohemia going into operation last year. However, the 125 gigawatt hours generated by wind is still negligible when considered in the context of the country’s overall electricity output.

CSA most punctual airline as regards departures

Czech Airlines was the best among 26 European airlines last year in terms of punctual departures, according to new data from the Association of European Airlines released by CSA this week. The Czech national carrier placed sixth in the category of on-time arrivals. A spokesperson for CSA pointed out that airlines have more influence on punctual take-offs than punctual landings.