Business sector profit doubled last year

According to preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2010 the total profit of business sector was 2.0 billion euros (30.9 billion kroons), being about two times bigger than in the previous year. At the same time the total profit decreased more than a fifth compared to 2008 and about 40% compared to the record high 2007.

Compared to 2009, profits increased in most economic activities. About a third of total profit of business sector gave manufacturing. The threefold growth in this activity was mainly supported by export. The crop and animal production as well as education activities were in loss.

In 2010, enterprises sold goods and services for 35.3 billion euros (552 billion kroons), which was a tenth more than a year earlier. The net sales of wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing, which have the biggest share in gross net sales in total business sector, increased 6% and 26%, respectively. The biggest growth in net sales was in forestry and logging (77%) and decrease occurred in construction (15%).

Compared to the 2009, the enterprises’ total costs increased 8%. The personnel expenses decreased 7% as well as the number of persons employed and the number of hours worked. It has continually increased the growth of the productivity indicators (labour, hour and personnel cost productivity). The labour productivity (total productivity divided by number of persons employed) of business sector increased 18%, at the same time the average labour costs per person employed stayed on the level of 2009. The enterprises value added amounted 6.2 billion euros (96.3 billion kroons) in 2010, which was by a tenth bigger than a year earlier.

The investment activeness of enterprises was continually low. In 2010, enterprises invested 1.5 billion euros (23.9 billion kroons), which is a fourth less than in 2009. The structure of investments has changed. If in the previous years the biggest investments were made in the construction and alteration of buildings, then in 2010 about a half of total investments were made in other equipment and machinery. The major investors were energy, manufacturing and transportation and storage enterprises with a half of the total investments of enterprises. Compared to 2009, investments increased only in other equipment and machinery (25%). Other investments decreased.

The growth in net sales of business sector, which started to increase in the 2nd quarter of 2010 quickened in the 4th quarter. In the 4th quarter, the enterprises’ net sales of goods and services totalled 9.7 billion euros (152 billion kroons), which was 21% more than in the same period a year earlier (in the 2nd and 3rd quarter the growth was 6% and 15%, respectively).

The 4th quarter of 2010 was a turning point also in investing, when the decrease in investments that had lasted for nearly two years and a half compared to the same quarter of the previous year, turned to growth. In the 4th quarter of 2010, enterprises invested 510 million euros (8.0 billion kroons), i.e. by a tenth more than in the 4th quarter of 2009.

Net sales, personnel expenses and total profit of the business sector, 2001–2010 (2005 = 100)

Diagram: Net sales, personnel expenses and total profit of the business sector

Source: Statistics Estonia

11 pct of families do not use childcare services

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2010 there were over 100,000 children aged less than 7 in Estonian households, of which over 57,000 went to the kindergarten or crèche.

As a rule, the birth of a child into the family means great changes in work and family life: at least one parent has to quit work for some time. Usually women make a break and their returning to the labour market depends on which childcare services they can use.

In addition to kindergarten or crèche (in combination or separately) households used in case of 28,000 children the help of relatives or friends living outside the household, who provided childcare service free of charge. With regard to about 17,000 children other childcare options were used (pre-school, hobby group, paid babysitter, etc.). With regard to 35,000 children aged less than 7 no permanent childcare services were used.

Types of childcare and the usage of childcare services largely depended on the age of the child. If over 80% of children aged 3–6 were taken to the kindergarten or crèche, then only one fifth of children aged less than 2 went there.

Nearly a third of households raising children up to 2 years old used also the help of relatives or acquaintances in childcare, but the majority (63%) of parents of so small children did not use childcare services. Among households raising children aged 3–6 the share of those who did not use childcare services was only 11%.

Reconciliation between work and family life was studied by Statistics Estonia in the framework of the Labour Force Survey in 2010. Nearly 1,000 households answered to questions related to childcare services.

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database (http://www.stat.ee/sdb-update?db_update_id=10322).

Households’ usage of childcare services by age of children, 2010

Diagram: Households’ usage of childcare services by age of children, 2010

Source: Statistics Estonia

State plans a terminal for liquefied petroleum gas at Muuga

According to a plan of the state-owned company Port of Tallinn, a terminal for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will be built at the port of Muuga just outside the Estonian capital Tallinn that will mainly handle transit of LPG from Russia and Kazakhstan as well as imports for the Baltic market.

The planned capacity of the terminal could be 300 000 tons of LPG per year in the first stage and up to 800 000 tons per year in the second stage, Port of Tallinn said.

The chairman of the supervisory board of Port of Tallinn, Neinar Seli, said the terminal would enable the use of LPG based on the same parameters as natural gas. “It means that after installing corresponding equipment at boilerhouses it will be possible to switch from expensive fuels or environment-polluting coal and oil shale to more economical and cleaner LPG. This is a substantial step closer to Estonia’s energy security,” Seli said.

An environmental impact audit has found that no significant increase will be caused in the environmental burden for the terminal area or nearby areas.

Source: Estonian Review

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