In Business News this week: energy giant CEZ buys a 7% share in Hungary’s MOL and raises its profit estimate by 1.2 billion crowns; Czech Airlines agrees to sell its catering business; Skoda Auto wins Exporter of the Year award; Starbucks is coming to the Czech Republic in early 2008; and Czech beer output is set to finally cross the 20 million hectolitre mark.
The world’s largest coffee-shop chain Starbucks is set to open its first branch in the Czech Republic in early 2008, Friday’s Mlada Fronta Dnes reported. The first Starbucks in the country will be located in Prague’s Palladium shopping-centre, the paper reports. It had long been speculated that the city’s Arkada shopping-mall would house Starbuck’s first outlet in the Czech Republic, but a branch of the chain is only expected to open there in autumn of next year. Two other Prague malls have also voiced an interest in housing a Starbucks in the near future. The firm is planning to launch operations in the Czech Republic and Poland early next year.
Onto beverages of another kind now - Czech beer output is expected to cross the 20 million hectolitre mark for the first time this year. On Friday, the chairman of the Czech Beer and Malt Association, Jan Vesely, made the prediction, but added that the growth in production would not be as big as in previous years, due to a slowdown in exports. According to Mr Vesely’s statistics, Czech breweries will export some 3.6 million hectolitres of beer this year, which is about 100,000 hectolitres more than last year. Last year’s growth, however, was about four times higher than this. Mr Vesely attributed the slowdown to the strengthening of the crown.