Daily news summary
Škoda Auto boosts 2017 profit by more than a third to 32.4 billion crowns
The Czech Republic’s biggest car maker Škoda Auto boosted its net profit in 2017 by 34 percent to 1.274 billion euros, around 32.4 billion crowns.
Sales rose by 21 percent to 16.6 billion crowns, around 421 billion crowns. Škoda delivered 1.2 million cars to customers, 6.6 percent more than in 2016.
Czech population passes 10.6 million mark
The population of the Czech Republic grew in 2017 by around 31,000 and topped the 10.6 million mark for the first time since the end of the Second World War.
The population rose as births exceeded deaths and as a result of 28000 immigrants coming to the country, the highest figure since 2010. Births totalled 114,405 and deaths 111,443.
ANO plan three-way government talks next week
ANO and the Social Democrats should hold talks with the Communist Party over the formation of a new Czech government next week, ANO’s leader Andrej Babiš said on Tuesday evening after a meeting with President Miloš Zeman. Acting PM Babiš is seeking to create a coalition with the Social Democrats with the support of the Communists in lower house votes. This week ANO and the Social Democrats are holding negotiations on the shape such a minority government would take. The election winners have offered the sixth-placed party four cabinet seats, a move Mr. Babiš described on Wednesday morning as generous.
Czech PPF buys up Telenor mobile assets in four countries
The Czech-based investment group PPF has announced a deal with the Norwegian telecoms group Telenor to buy up their activities in four Central European countries.
PPF, owned by the Czech Republic’s richest man, Petr Kellner, will pay around 2.8 billion euros, around 71 billion crowns, for the mobile phone assets in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Serbia.
The deals still need regulatory clearance and are expected to be finalised by June 2018. PPF’s main telecoms assets is the 02 operator in the Czech Republic.
Archaeologists find unique bronze age burial in Moravia
Czech archaeologists believe they have uncovered a unique regional discovery in the form of a late bronze age woman buried hugging a small child.
There were hardly any other artefacts found with the bodies. While children buried with adults are not rare, this form of burial is described as exceptional and never seen before in the Moravia region.
The burial site was discovered in excavations ahead of the construction of an industrial zone near Vyškov. Further research is now being carried out.
RAF veteran Zbyšek Nečas dies aged 97
Zbyšek Nečas, who flew with the No. 68 Night Fighter Squadron in the RAF during WWII, has died at the age of 97.
The airman, who served as a radar operator on Bristol Beaufighters and Mosquitos, passed away at his home last week, his family revealed.
Zbyšek Nečas was just 18 and still a high school student, escaped from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia a month before WWII broke out and made his way to England, where he settled.
J.A.R. dominate 2018 Anděl music awards
J.A.R. were the big winners at the annual Anděl music awards on Tuesday night. The group, who formed in 1989, took the prizes for best group, best album for Eskalace dobra and best song for Zhublas at a ceremony at Prague’s Forum Karlín.
Mirai were named best new act while music video of the year went to Po válce by Barbora Poláková. Veteran singer-songwriter Vladimír Merta was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Anděl awards are decided by the members of the Czech Academy of Music and are a local equivalent of the Grammys.
Petra Kvitová to play J&T Prague Open
In tennis, Petra Kvitová has said she will take part in this year biggest tennis tournament in Prague, the J&T Banka Prague Open.
Kvitová will be appearing alongside Karolína Plišková, Lucie Šafářová, and Barbora Strýcová in the event taking place between April 30 and May 5.
Kvitová last played in a Czech tournament seven years ago. Kvitová is currently placed ninth in the WTA rankings.
Thursday is expected to be cloudy with rain and snow showers possible. Top daytime temperatures will range between two and six degrees Celsius.