News archives:February 2008

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Broadcaster CME aims to double its earnings

Fri, 29 Feb 2008 17:55:38 +0100

Central European Media Enterprises will today set out plans to double revenues and earnings over the next five years from organic growth, as it also highlights ambitions for deals in Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia. The US-listed broadcaster, which has operations from Croatia to Ukraine, is expected to announce a 39 per cent jump in revenues to $840m for 2007, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation up 46 per cent to $320m...

Slovenia's Petrol aims to double its Bosnia network

Fri, 29 Feb 29 2008 9:33:12 +0100

SARAJEVO, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Slovenia's largest fuel retailer Petrol (PETG.LJ: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday it would invest 17 million euros ($25.8 million) in its Bosnia operation this year, aiming to double its presence in the country by 2010. The group plans new acquisitions and mergers to expand in the country, said Aleksander Malakovsky, director of Petrol BH Oil Company. "The plan is in line with the company's strategy to expand in the region." He said the company planned to create 50 new jobs this year.

TV group CME 4th quarter profit beats forecast

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 14:27:28 +0100

PRAGUE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Net profit at television broadcaster Central European Media Enterprises (CME) jumped by 178 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter 2007 to $72.99 million, the company said on Thursday. The market had expected profit of $59 million for the October-December period, traditionally the strongest period of the year, according to a Reuters survey of eight analysts. Revenue jumped 40 percent from a year ago to $300.96 million, above an average market forecast of $283.6 million. From this impressive base, we plan to more than double revenues within the next five years," Chief Executive Michael Garin said in a statement. CME operates television stations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia, economies where buoyant economic growth has boosted spending on advertising. CME is listed on Nasdaq and in Prague and its stations reach a market of 82 million people...

Spar Austria Group reports much better results

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 14:27:28 +0100

The Spar Austria Group has reported much better results for 2007. Total turnover in all four business groups (domestic grocery business, foreign grocery business, Hervis sporting goods and shopping centers) increased by 11.1 per cent to 9.89 billion Euros. Turnover in the domestic grocery business (Spar, Eurospar, Interspar and Maximarkt) went up by 4.5 per cent, and that in the foreign grocery business rose by 12.5 per cent. Turnover at Hervis increased by 11.2 per cent, thanks in part to its entry into the Romanian market. Turnover at shopping centers jumped by 27.2 per cent owing to new openings and renovations...

COLLIERS CROATIA - Colliers Croatia wins prestigious business award in two categories

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 14:27:28 +0100

Colliers International Croatia has announced that it has been awarded the prestigious First Croatian Kuna, given to the top 1% of companies in Croatia. Colliers International won the award in two out of three categories; for the most profitable and for the most productive company. The awards took place last night at the Westin Hotel in the capital Zagreb. The award, named after the Croatian currency the kuna, is given by the Croatian Institute for Business Intelligence, and is dedicated to promoting the Croatian economy and Croatian companies, with a special emphasis placed on the importance of human resources and employees. The first such award was made in 2003. The medal presented was created by a famous sculptor, Stipe Sikirica, and is considered a symbol of business excellence.

Mercator: 70 pct revenue increase in Serbia

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 14:27:28 +0100

LJUBLJANA -- The Slovenian Mercator Group has announced turnover of EUR 344mn in Serbia in 2007, an increase of 70 percent. At a news conference in Ljubljana, Mercator representatives said that the Serbian market accounted for 14 percent of the company's sales, second only to the Slovenian market itself, where sales amounted to EUR 1.7bn. Mercator has an eight percent share of the Serbian market, which, according to the company's strategic plans, it seeks to increase to 15 percent by 2010. The company holds a six percent share in Croatia and 2 percent in Bosnia-Hercegovina, which they hope to increase to 15 and 10 percent respectively by 2010. Mercator now employs 3580 people in Serbia, having created a further 260 new jobs since the turn of the year. The company plans to create 720 new jobs altogether this year.

Croatian Mall Gets $74M Makeover, Expansion

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 14:27:28 +0100

SIBENIK, CROATIA-Responding to the increasing demand for retail outlets in Croatia, the Zagreb-Montaza Group is transforming a Sibenik shopping center here into a 580,000-sf regional shopping mall. Investors are putting $74 million into the retail makeover, which will create an international-style shopping destination. Colliers International Croatia will be the exclusive leasing agent.

Telekom Austria Drops Most Since 2004 on Forecasts

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 14:27:28 +0100

[...] Telekom Austria, which is about 27 percent owned by the Austrian government, also sells wireless services in Croatia and Liechtenstein, and is seeking to buy a phone company in Bosnia- Herzegovina. Nemsic said today there are no discussions or a timetable on a possible sale of a Telekom Austria stake by the government. He doesn't forsee a sale of BH Telecom, the Bosnian phone company, before the second half of this year, he added....

Colliers Croatia to lease major international shopping center in Sibenik

Mon, 25 Feb 2008 21:25:02 +0100

Colliers International Croatia has announced that it is the exclusive leasing agent for the upgrade and extension of Dalmare Shopping Center in Sibenik. - The second phase of the Dalmare development extension, which will transform it into a international-style regional shopping center, will be completed in spring 2009. - The EUR 50m investment will increase the size of the shopping center to 54,000 m2. The upgrade is being undertaken by the investor, Zagreb Montaza group, which has over 1,000 employees and an annual turnover of nearly EUR 100m.

Gap announces franchise agreement

Sun, 24 Feb 2008 08:33:44 +0100

Gap Inc has announced a franchise agreement with Marinopoulous Group, a Greek retail business, designed to bring the Gap and Banana Republic brand to Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia. The Marinopoulous Group is also a franchise partner for Carrefour, Marks 'n Spencer and LVMH subsidiary Sephora.

CROATIA: The Zagreb Stock Exchange Crobex index climbed 4%

Sat, 23 Feb 2008 11:33:45 +0100

The Zagreb Stock Exchange Crobex index turned in a solid performance this week, climbing 4 per cent. But the index is still down 20.5 per cent year-to-date. Stocks such as those of construction and engineering services firm Ingra DD and telecom service provider Hrvatske Telekomunikacije DD provided some of the lift. Ingra said it will buy Mavrovo, a construction company located in Macedonia.

EBRD to boost Croatia's tourism industry

Sat, 23 Feb 2008 11:33:45 +0100

The EBRD is making an equity investment worth E24 million in Jadranka Hotels, which owns and operates a chain of hotels and villas on the Croatian islands of Losinj, in the northern Adriatic. The investment will be used by Jadranka Hotels to finance the refurbishment and modernisation of its existing hotels and villas, allowing it to improve Croatia's tourism offering in the northern part of the Adriatic.

Croatia has made a preliminary request to Saab for 12 JAS Gripen fighters

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 11:40:26 +0100

Saab B was flat at 151. The magazine Ny Teknik reported that Croatia has made a preliminary request to Saab for 12 JAS Gripen fighters, but that competition is tough from Mirage, F16, and MIG...

Agrokor ratings affirmed, off negative watch after Migros Turk bid failure

Thu, 21 Feb 2008 10:38:08 +0100

MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) - Standard and Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B' long-term corporate credit and senior secured debt ratings on Croatia-based food manufacturer and retailer Agrokor and removed the ratings from negative watch...

Real Estate briefs

Thu, 21 Feb 2008 10:38:08 +0100

EXPANSION Quinlan Private Golub announced plans for further expansion in Poland in 2008. The plans include the opening of regional offices in Kraków and Gdansk. With headquarters in Prague, Quinlan Private Golub currently operates in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria. Plans for 2008 also include expansion of the company's operations to other countries in the region, including Lithuania, Croatia, Romania and Ukraine...

Groupama: 2007 Results: Profitable Long-Term Growth

Thu, 21 Feb 2008 10:38:08 +0100 Revenue: E12,133 million, up 5.7% [...]On 11 February 2008, Groupama entered into a strategic partnership with OTP Bank, the leading independent bank in Central Europe. Long-term distribution agreements have been signed whereby OTP Bank will distribute Groupama's insurance products and Groupama will distribute OTP Bank's banking products in OTP Bank's nine host countries (Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro), giving Groupama access to ten million customers...

Jupiter Adria building up hotel chain in Croatia

Wed, 20 Feb 2008 01:58:18 +0100

With few opportunities to invest in the hotel sector, a fund manager has taken a more direct approach. Jupiter Adria is building a chain of boutique hotels, a marina and golf course in Croatia. It is a new move for the firm, run by commercial director Julian Houchin. The company has links with Edward Bonham Carter's Jupiter Asset Management. Funds traditionally tend to invest in existing ventures...

Wed, 20 Feb 2008 01:58:18 +0100

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Pace-Setting Zara Seeks More Speed To Fight Its Rising Cheap-Chic Rivals

Wed, 20 Feb 2008 01:58:18 +0100

As rivals catch up, Mr. Isla is attempting one of the fastest global expansions the fashion world has ever seen, opening hundreds of new stores and entering new markets. To do that, as an economic downturn threatens sales, Inditex is changing the systems that have driven its success at Zara and its other store brands, to save time and money. Among the innovations, it's introducing new methods to enable store managers to order and display merchandise faster and adding cargo routes for shipping goods.[...]In addition to Zara, which makes up 60% of its business, Inditex owns seven smaller store brands, including the more upscale Massimo Dutti and the youth-oriented Bershka. In the last 12 months Inditex added 560 stores, including entering new markets in Croatia, Colombia, Guatemala and Oman, to reach 3,691 stores in 68 countries. It plans expansion of a similar scope over the next year...

The ÅF Group - Summary Of Annual Report For 2007 -Operating Profit Doubled

Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:28:15 +0100

ÅF has won an agreement for technical consulting services in connection with the construction of a new gas-fired power station in Sisak, Croatia. The agreement involves consulting services during the design and production phase, as well as monitoring the construction and commissioning of this 230 MW power plant. The order is worth EUR 3.4 million to ÅF...

Groupe Model/2007: CA consolidé, 700 M CHF (+17,3%), 2008 optimiste

Mon, 18 Feb 2008 18:24:02 +0100

Zurich (AWP) - En 2007, le groupe sous Model Holding SA, sis à Weinfelden/TG, a enregistré un chiffre d'affaires consolidé de 700 mio CHF (+17,3%). Calculé des effets de changes, le chiffre d'affaires a augmenté de 13,8%, selon un communiqué publié mardi par le groupe d'emballages. Le groupe Model a aussi augmenté de 2,5% à 603 mio m2 les emballages commercialisés sur ses marchés principaux que sont la Suisse, l'Allemagne, la France, l'Autriche, la Tchéquie, la Pologne, la Slovaquie et la Croatie....

Croatia's January Consumer Prices Climb 6.2% Y-o-Y

Mon, 18 Feb 2008 18:24:02 +0100

Croatia's consumer prices climbed 6.2% year-on-year in January, the statistical office announced Monday. The 12-month annual average consumer prices rose 3.3% in January. On a month-on-month basis, the consumer prices rose 0.7% in January. Health costs showed the biggest increase of 3.2% in January, while utilities sector charges were up 2.4%. However, prices of clothing and footwear fell 7.5%, while a 1% decline was recorded in charges of communication. The HICP annual inflation stood at 5.4% in December...

Global Finance expands Balkans property investments

Fri, 15 Feb 2008 19:04:21 +0100

Greek investment firm Global Finance planned to expand its investment in real estate on the Balkans by setting up a second property fund, to be named Global Emerging Property Fund II (GEPF II), reported, quoting Greek media. GEPF II, with a capital of 350 million euro, was to be the next stage of Global Finance's investment strategy on the Balkans, which started with the foundation of CERF I, which raised 500 million euro for investments in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia...

Hungarian MOL's Q4 profit up on one-offs, eyes INA

Fri, 15 Feb 2008 19:04:21 +0100

BUDAPEST, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Hungarian oil and gas firm MOL reported a surge in its fourth-quarter profits on Friday mainly due to big one-off gains and again rebuffed a merger approach by Austrian rival OMV...

Croatia 2008: holiday planning guide

Fri, 15 Feb 2008 19:04:21 +0100

Seaside holidays, mountain hikes, island-hopping and all the advantages of other Mediterranean countries at affordable prices - Gill Charlton offers 10 good reasons to visit this year...

BC Partners/Migros Turk - BC Partners-led group acquires Migros for $3.3bn

Fri, 15 Feb 2008 19:04:21 +0100

Partners in a deal valuing its equity at $3.3bn (E 2.2bn). BC Partners teamed up with Turkven, a Turkish buyout firm, and DeA Capital, the private equity arm of Italy's De Agostini group, to buy a 51% stake in Migros from Koc Group - Turkey's biggest company. The consortium plans to make an offer for all outstanding shares of Migros, which still has $550m of cash from selling its Russian joint venture last year. The group was advised by Merrill Lynch. The buyout will be about 50% funded with debt from Garanti Bank, Is Bank and Vakifbank. The UK buyout firm saw off competition from bigger US rivals Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Blackstone, which had teamed up with Croatia's Agrokor...

INTERVIEW Prysmian sees 2008 telecom margins unchanged; volumes up as planned

Fri, 15 Feb 2008 19:04:21 +0100

GREECE- MILAN (Thomson Financial) - Prysmian SpA sees 2008 telecom cable margins in line with those last year, with sales volumes up more than 10 pct, as in its three-year plan, said Giovanni Scotti, head of Prysmians worldwide telecom business. In an interview with Thomson Financial News, he said margins are affected by the mix between sales of optical cables and copper cables, adding he sees no impact on his business from the economic slowdown...

Croat Firm's Failed Bid for Retailer

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 11:00:29 +0100 One of Croatia's biggest companies Agrokor holding, which has major food production and retail facilities, has lost out in the takeover battle for the Turkish retailer, Migros...

Credit cards on the rise in CEE - report

Tue, 12 Feb 2008 13:00:59 +0100 A report reveals that the number of credit cards in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) more than tripled in the two year period up to the end of 2006. Credit card holders in CEE numbered 27 million in 2006. The total number of payment cards (including debit, charge and credit cards) has grown by 64% to 187 million in 2004-2006...

Turkey joins EU competitiveness programme

Tue, 12 Feb 2008 13:00:59 +0100

Turkey is the third candidate country, after Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to join the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) under which the European Commission promotes innovation, entrepreneurship and growth in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Today, European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen and Mr. Volkan Bozkir, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalising the Republic's entry to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation pillar of CIP...

Slovenia: 12 Eurosprinter electric

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:15:17 +0100

Slovenia: SZ has ordered a further 12 Eurosprinter electric locos from Siemens at a cost of E48m, exercising an option on a 2004 contract for an initial 20. The SZ Class 541 three-voltage locos will be delivered from April 2009 and be equipped to work into Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Croatia...

Migros Turk Sale at 'Last Stage,' Owner Koc Says

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:15:17 +0100 Koc Holding AS said it's in the ``last stage of selling Migros Turk TAS, Turkey's largest supermarket chain, in what may be the country's biggest private-equity takeover. No agreement on a sale has yet been reached, Koc said today in a statement, without providing further details...

Croatian Oil Company INA selects ORTEC for Fleet Scheduling and Inventory Management

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:15:17 +0100

Oil company INA Industrija Nafte d.d. in Croatia has selected ORTEC's route optimization system SHORTREC for optimal scheduling of her fleet. ORTEC's demand forecasting and order generation tool ORION will be used to manage the inventory of INA's petrol stations. INA is the first company in this region to make use of such advanced planning systems...

Strabag Wins Bosnia Road Deal

Sat, 09 Feb 2008 15:00:00 +0100

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Strabag SE, one of Europe's largest construction companies, has won a contract to build a 3 billion euro ($4.4 billion) highway network in Bosnia's Serb Republic, Bosnian media reported Friday...

Delta Plus : Croissance de 9,1% du CA en 2007

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 12:02:01 +0100

D'un point de vue géographique, Delta Plus Group souligne que l'Europe de l'est (Pologne, Croatie, Hongrie, notamment) reste le principal moteur de ce développement, avec des hausses d'activité partout supérieures à 30% contre 2006.

Business: Foreign investments on the rise in Macedonia

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 18:05:15 +0100

Macedonia's foreign investments will significantly increase in 2008. Also in business this week: Google opens a branch in Romania and Turkey's foreign capital inflow is up by 90%...

Les compagnies Vinci, Strabag, FCC, Astaldi et Mota Engil, intéressée par la concession de l'autoroute Bucarest-Brasov...

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 18:05:15 +0100

Parmi les 12 consortiums comptent les plus grandes compagnies d'Europe. La compagnie autrichienne Strabag est à la tête d'un consortium intéressé par la construction du tronçon d'autoroute et les sociétés FCC Construcction (Espagne), Alpine (Autriche), Astaldi (Italie) ont déposé une offre commune pour la réalisation du tronçon Comarnic-Brasov...

CROATIA: Atlantic Grupa Acquires Three Pharmacy Chains

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 18:05:15 +0100

Atlantic Grupa, a consumer good distributor and healthcare product maker, has acquired controlling stakes in three privately-owned pharmacy chains for an undisclosed sum. The company has taken a 100% stake in the Mandic Pharm and Baricevic pharmacy chains, and a 75% stake in Bamapharm pharmacies. Mandic Pharm also has two pharmacies in Bosnia...



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