Solaris cinema likely to be sold to Apollo

in a space-themed acquisition of a central Tallinn property, Solaris, one of the two multiplex cinemas in the city center, is likely to be bought by a subsidiary of the Apollo media group after a deal was inked late last week.

Approval from the Competitiion Authority is needed for the would-be sale to Apollo Kinod, which also operates a cinema in Pärnu.

The multiplex in the Solaris shopping mall was a Cinamon movie theater but was unloaded soon after the mall opened.

Last year, the current owner, Solaris Property Partners, then tried to shop the business to Forum, which operates the other city center multiplex in Coca-Cola Plaza, but antitrust regulators blocked the sale.

Source: ERR News

PKC Group to close its plant in Haapsalu

International manufacturer of wire harnesses PKC Group that has two plants in Estonia in Keila and Haapsalu announced that it is going to close down its plant in Haapsalu by the end of this year.

The company said that its objective is to maximise the production capacity in Europe in modern competitive factories in Serbia and Lithuania.

Read more from BBN

Oleg Ossinovski is the richest person in Estonia

The business daily Äripäev has named transport mogul Oleg Ossinovski as the richest person in Estonia, in its annual list of the 500 richest people in Estonia.

Ossinovski, whose son Jevgeni Ossinovski is a Social Democrat MP and who helped finance the 2011 campaign for the seat, saw his fortunes increase by 75 million euros to 297.9 million, Äripäev said today. Skinest Rail, owned by Ossinovski, had a excellent year, sells and repairs train rolling stock in the Baltics, Ukraine and Russia. Ossinovski also owns Spacecom AS, which leases railroad tanker cars.Oleg Ossinovski

Hillar Teder of food retailer O’Key Group, who had claimed the spot in the previous two years, is now second, with the daily lopping 55 million euros off its estimate of his worth to take him to a mere 295 million euros.

The rest of the top 10 were as follows:

3. Priit Piilmann, major shareholder in Viru Keemia Group – 211.2 million euros (132 million in 2012)

4. Armin Karu, major shareholder of Olympic Entertainment Group – 161.5 million euros (112.5 million)
5. Toomas Annus, chairman and major shareholder of Merko real estate developer – 143.1 million euros (133.8 million)
6. Margus Kangro, major shareholder in Viru Keemia Group – 132.1 million euros (104.4 million)
7. Fjodor Berman, owner and head of BLRT Group – 119 million euros (182.2 million)
8. Marcel Vichmann, owner of Edelaraudtee and GoBus – 117.5 million euros (107.1 million)
9. Sonny Aswani, managing director of the Tolaram Group in Estonia – 117.2 million euros (109.9 million)
10. Roman Stroykov, an industrial wholesaler – 115.1 million euros (89.5 million)

Source: ERR News

Transit company takes 100 mEUR out in dividends

Last year one of Estonia’s biggest transit companies, Vopak E.O.S, took out 100 million euros in dividend, paying 26.6 million euros in tax to the state.

Vopak E.O.S’ last year’s profits fell 30 percent to 34.1 million euros, while revenue decreased 16 percent to 152.3 million euros, Postimees reported today.

Vopak E.O.S., which runs oil terminals throughout the Baltic states, is a joint company registered to two Dutch companies – Investments B.V and Tankmaatshappij Dipping B.V. Both own 50 percent of the company. Last year the joint company had profits of 258 million euros.

Last year, similarly to Vopar E.O.S, the Finnish-Swedish telecommunications company, TeliaSonera, took out dividends form EMT and Elion, amounting to 41 million euros and paid 10.9 million euros in income tax.

Source: ERR News

The profit of the business sector increased in Q1

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2014, the total profit of the business sector was 705 million euros, which was 10% more than in the same period a year ago.

Compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, total profit increased in almost all economic activities.

The biggest contribution to the growth in profit was made by information and communication, agriculture and professional, scientific and technical activities. The growth in the profit of the business sector was negatively influenced mostly by construction, transportation and storage and real estate activities. The profit of manufacturing, which holds the largest share in the total profit of the business sector, increased 2%, mainly due to the increase in profits in the manufacture of food and in the export-oriented manufacture of wood and metal products.

In the 1st quarter of 2014, enterprises sold goods and services for 11.8 billion euros, which was 2% less than in the same period a year ago. The turnover of trade and manufacturing enterprises, which have the biggest share in the total turnover of the business sector, increased 1%. The biggest increase (by a third) occurred in the turnover of enterprises specialising in the repair of computers and personal and household goods.

Compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, the total costs of enterprises decreased 3%. Personnel expenses increased 8%. The number of persons employed and the number of hours worked increased 1% and 4%, respectively. The labour productivity of the business sector on the basis of the value added amounted to an average of 5,200 euros per person employed in a quarter and was 7% higher than in the 1st quarter of 2013.

In the 1st quarter of 2014, enterprises invested 537 million euros, which was 3% more than in the same period the year before. The largest investments were made mainly in equipment and machinery, vehicles and buildings. The main investors were energy, transportation and storage and agricultural enterprises with more than a half of the total investments of enterprises. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, investments in equipment and machinery, in vehicles and in the acquisition of buildings increased. Other investments decreased, with investments in land declining the most.

Total profit of the business sector, 1st quarter 2010 – 1st quarter 2014

Diagram: Total profit of the business sector, 1st quarter 2010 – 1st quarter 2014


Source: Statistics Estonia

Crisis decreased the innovativeness of enterprises

According to Statistics Estonia, the data of the Innovation Survey show that 47.6% of enterprises were innovative in 2012. Compared to the previous, 2010 Survey, the rate of innovativeness decreased by 9.2 percentage points.

An enterprise was considered innovative in the Survey if in the last three years it had put into practise an organisational or marketing innovation, introduced to the market a new or significantly improved product, implemented a new or significantly improved process, or had expenditure on activities specifically undertaken to develop and/or implement a product or process innovation.

The share of innovative enterprises, 2008–2012

Diagram: The share of innovative enterprises, 2008–2012

The decrease in innovativeness varied slightly by type of innovation. While the share of enterprises with organisation or marketing innovations declined in 2012 compared to 2010 by 2.0 and 3.7 percentage points, respectively, the share of those having introduced a product innovation decreased by 4.8 and the share of those having implemented a process innovation by 7.4 percentage points. In other words, while in 2010 every fourth enterprise was product-innovative, then in 2012 – only every fifth.

Innovativeness was in decline practically for all economic activities. Among major ones, for example, in the textile industry, it fell from 70% to 35%, and in the timber industry from 64% to 41%. At the same time, the innovativeness of the food industry remained at the level of 64%, and for enterprises engaged in water collection, treatment and supply, innovativeness even rose from 45% to 66%.

The supplemental module of the Survey dealt with the enterprises’ strategy. Certain differences between innovative and non-innovative enterprises became evident. Innovative enterprises declared the increase of profit margins to be their most important strategic goal, while non-innovative enterprises were focusing on turnover increase. Increasing flexibility and responsiveness was considered the most valuable mean to reach the goals by innovative enterprises, reducing in-house costs of operation by non-innovative enterprises. However, there was an agreement about the most important factor that obstructs meeting an enterprise’s goal – both groups considered strong price competition to be that factor.

The data from other countries will be published in Eurostat’s database only in the autumn of 2014, but it is already possible to compare our results to the Finnish ones. That kind of a decline in innovativeness was not observed in Finland and it remained at the level of 53% both in 2010 and in 2012. It means that while in 2010 our enterprises outpaced the Finnish ones in terms of innovativeness, then in 2012 we were already lagging behind.

The innovation survey is conducted biannually across Europe, and in 2012 the frame of the survey consisted of 1,779 industrial and 1,706 service enterprises with at least 10 employees. Compared to earlier surveys, the coverage of service industries was extended to the economic activities with EMTAK codes 59 (motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities), 60 (programming and broadcasting activities), 72 (scientific research and development), and 73 (advertising and market research). Enterprises operating in the listed activities made up only 3% of the survey frame, so comparability is not danger major issue. Especially because, among the listed economic activities, only scientific research and development had an exceptionally high rate of innovativeness, reaching 94%.

Source: Statistics Estonia

The 10 newest Estonian startups to watch

Sometimes it seems new Estonian startups pop up like mushrooms after the rain. We have compiled a list of the newest startups to watch, based mostly on usability and usefulness, rather than financial indicators. Most of these are up to six months old and not older than a year. Some, such as Lingvist and Taxify, have already raised substantial funding, some are still in beta-stage and some, such as DonateIT, have only just launched.


DonateIT – an app that links together blood donors and donation centres in an quick and convenient way, allowing centres to inform potential donors when their particular blood type is needed and to keep them involved throughout the year. It also tracks and shares your blood donations, how much you donated, when you can do it next time etc. The app makes blood donations socially engaging – basically you can compete with your friends on how many lives you have saved.

Jobbatical – connects skilled professionals and companies looking for their expertise in six to twelve-month stints. Jobbatical helps convert your skills into an adventure.

Wellbiome – a health app that offers scientific personalised dietary recommendations based on the microflora in person’s gut. It creates a nutrition plan based on your DNA and gut microbiome that is specific to the person. In beta stage.

Taxify – a taxi dispatch platform for taxi companies and drivers, a mobile app for clients for ordering any taxi instantly, without a hassle.

Rahu – it alerts the family in case of an accident and sends the data to its monitoring centre, which then picks out key patterns and sudden movements – enabling alerting through the Rahu app or a text message when, for example, your grandmother has not got out of the bed or when she falls.

3D Wayfinder – an indoor and outdoor navigation software that is running on touchscreen self-service kiosks, mobile devices and websites. The solution has been designed to provide a pleasant and a convenient navigation  experience.

Lingvist – a personalised approach to learning languages that aims to make every learner a fast one. Using mathematical optimisation, the tool tailors tasks according to your knowledge and skills.

HealthDiary – a safe and a private place to keep, access and easily export all health-related notes, reminders, reports, pictures of children. You can record your child’s growth milestones, stomach troubles and doctor’s visits. Reminders help you keep track of important appointments. It also lets analyse your child’s data across the years or bring it along to the next doctor’s visit. In beta-stage.

Funderbeam – a global startup rating, tracking and funding platform, with a strong team that has a lot of experience working with the financial markets. Funderbeam helps startups to connect with supportive, mentoring investors around the world. For potential investors, it x-rays startups, using standardised scores and familiar metrics from the financial markets. In beta-stage.

Fleep – a chat communication tool for teams and businesses. Incorporating some elements of Skype and email, Fleep is a simple tool that helps organise your multiple discussion streams easily.



Tallinn water company makes too much profit

The Competition Authority said the capital’s water company, Tallinna Vesi, is already earning too much money and company’s decision to sue the authority for blocking price hikes is unjustified.

Tallinna Vesi has taken the authority to court, demanding 90 million euros for lost profits between 2011 and 2020, with that sum declining to 50 million if price hikes were to be allowed now, ETV reported on Monday.

Read more from ERR

Estonian taxy companies set sight on Helsinki

Finland is planning to deregulate its taxi sector and Estonian cab companies are lining up to enter the northern market.

Mati Saar, head of Tulika Takso told Äripäev on Monday that Helsinki is more attractive than Tallinn due its size and importance as a business and tourism hub.

Read more from ERR

Number of bankruptcies fell 7.3 pct

Altogether 469 legal persons went bankrupt in Estonia during 2013, 7.3 percent fewer than in 2012, figures published by the credit information provider Krediidiinfo on Tuesday show.

Just like in the previous couple of years, the number of bankruptcies continued to decline in Estonia last year, albeit at a significantly slower pace. In 2011, the number of bankruptcies fell 40 percent and in 2012, 20 percent year on year.

The number of businesses that went bankrupt last year made up 0.26 percent of the total number of businesses in Estonia. Their aggregate sales in the year before the bankruptcy totaled 197 million euros and net loss 8.8 million euros. The biggest creditors of bankrupt companies were banks and suppliers.

The average company going bankrupt in 2013 had annual sales of 1.3 million euros. Almost three in four had accrued tax debt during the past year and almost one in three had been indebted to the tax authority during the whole year.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review


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