Business News

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In Business News: Czech firms are to pay out their highest dividends ever, but most of the money could flow out of the country; over 30 international firms have opened development or distribution centres in the Czech Republic in the last year; Skype is opening a programming centre in Prague's revitalised Karlin district; inspectors find numerous shortcomings at Czech internet retailers; and the Czech economy is one of the most 'energy demanding' in the EU.

Czech firms to make record pay-outs

Czech firms are to pay out their highest dividends ever from last year's profits, Hospodarske noviny reported this week. Analysts interviewed by the daily said total dividends would amount to between 130 and 150 billion CZK, a rise of 10 percent on the previous year. About two-thirds of the sum will go to foreign owners; Vojtech Benda from ING Wholesale Banking said over 100 billion CZK (almost 500m USD) could flow out of the country.

Many foreign companies opening development, distribution centres in Czech Republic

More and more international companies are making use of Czech expertise, with 31 firms building a development or distribution centre in the Czech Republic over the last year, Hospodarske noviny reported this week. According to data from state agency CzechInvest, those new centres have hired around 20,000 Czech workers.

Skype takes on Czech programmers

Meanwhile, the famous internet phone and messaging company Skype is offering work to Czech programmers. Skype is opening an office in Prague's revitalised Karlin district and is planning to take on 30 software developers. They will work closely with the firm's 300-person headquarters in the Estonian capital Tallinn. The Prague office head said this week that Czech programmers were among the best in the world.

Czech economy one of most demanding in energy consumption in EU

The Czech economy is four times more demanding in terms of energy consumption than the EU average. According to an annual European Commission report, the Czech Republic was the fifth worst country in this regard in 2004. The Czech economy required 852 kg of oil to produce GDP of 1,000 euros; the average in the EU as a whole was 200 kg. The report also said that almost 14 percent of electricity produced in the EU was from renewable resources - in the Czech Republic it was 4 percent.

Shortcomings found at Czech online retailers

Online shopping has been gaining an increasing share of the retail market in the Czech Republic, with a 40-percent rise in sales last year. But the sector is not without its problems. The country's retail inspection office says last year it found shortcomings at around half the internet shops it checked in 2006. Misdemeanors included failure to make clear postal charges or prices including value added tax. Another survey last year by a consumers group SOS found that 37 percent of online retailers met its four basic criteria. That was an improvement on the previous year, when it said 29 percent were up to scratch.

Tesco opening two low energy supermarkets in Czech Republic this year

Tesco supermarkets in the Czech Republic are planning to open two "green" low energy shops this year. A Tesco spokesperson said the stores would use a third less energy than traditional shops, adding that the company has pledged to cut energy consumption by 50 percent in its facilities around the world by 2020. The first Czech energy saving store is being built in Zatec in north Bohemia, while the second is set for Ricany near Prague.