In Business News this week: energy giant CEZ posts profits of more than a billion euro; Skoda Auto also enjoys record profits; the number of foreign tourists visiting the country has dropped in most areas, and Czech employees are wasting millions of work hours playing computer games.
CEZ profits pass one billion euro mark
Skoda Auto also enjoys record earnings
Tourist numbers down in most regions
The number of tourists visiting the Czech Republic has dropped in most regions according to figures from the Czech Statistical Office. Nine of the country's fourteen regions saw a decline of between 0.5 and 5% percent in the number of foreign visitors in 2006. A spokesman for the Czech travel agencies association put the decline down to the fact that most potential tourists from Western Europe had already visited the country in the 17 years since the Velvet Revolution and it was necessary to improve the quality of services and remove notorious problems such as the overcharging of foreigners in taxis and restaurants to make them come back a second time. One area to buck the trend was the Karlovy Vary region in west Bohemia, which experienced an increase of 20% in the number of foreign tourists. This was primarily down to an increase in the number of Russians visiting the spas of Karlovy Vary, which are hugely prestigious in Russia. Overall, 230,000 Russians visited the country last year, a increase of almost one-third compared with 2005.
Czech workers waste one million hours playing computer game, says IT expert
Average household income up 4.1%
The average income per member of a household in the Czech Republic increased by 4.1 percent to 9545 CZK per month in the third quarter 2006 according to new figures from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Households also raised their consumption, and the growth in spending was faster than growth in income. Spending on housing, health care and telecoms services investments grew while spending on food, transport, recreation, clothing, footwear and restaurants decreased.