Heating price in Tallinn falls 11 pct

AS Tallinna Küte lowers heating prices by about 11 pct retroactively from March 1, ERR News reports. The number announced today and the new price is depending on US dollar’s exchange rate. April’s bill is calculated on new, lower price.

In February the heating prices dropped by 7,2 pct and in January 9 pct. In three months the price of heating has fallen by nearly 25 pct. Last year the prices nearly doubled. Tallinna Küte heats nearly 2/3 of the capital.

Source: BBN


Euro strengthens economic environment

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met with Portuguese Foreign Minister Luís Filipe Marques Amado, who was in Estonia for an official visit. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet expressed his satisfaction that the first visit ever to Estonia by a Portuguese foreign minister has taken place.
Paet introduced Estonia’s plans for joining the euro-zone with his Portuguese colleague. “Estonia wishes to join the euro-zone under the existing criteria and procedures. We do not want exceptions to be made; we want to fulfil all the criteria and receive a positive decision on that basis, so that for example in the year 2011 it would be possible for Estonia to begin using the euro,” emphasised the Estonian foreign minister.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Amado stated that the effects of the current global economic crisis would be much harsher in Portugal if the nation had not adopted the euro.
In light of the upcoming European Union-United States summit, the foreign ministers addressed the topic of Europe-USA relations. Foreign Minister Paet recognised his colleague for his efforts towards actively raising transatlantic topics in the European Union. “Estonia, like Portugal, considers a tight partnership based on common values between the European Union and the USA to be very important for guaranteeing security and stability in Europe and all over the world,” said Paet. “At the moment, it is essential for the EU, in its relations with the USA, to intensify all kinds of co-operation, including in the energy security sector,” stated Paet. He also emphasised that in the circumstances of the global financial crisis, intensifying co-operation between the European Union and the United States is essential for preventing the spread of protectionist economic policies in the world.
The Estonian and Portuguese foreign ministers agreed that the current economic difficulties and complications in implementing the Treaty of Lisbon should not hinder the further enlargement of the European Union. “It is crucial to complete accession negotiations with Croatia, and it is equally important to move forward with other candidate states in order to guarantee the preservation of their accession prospects and their motivation to implement reforms,” Paet noted.
During the meeting with his Portuguese colleague, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised the value of cultural contacts between the two nations: “Portuguese language instruction takes place in both Tartu and Tallinn Universities, and both universities have, in accordance with a co-operation agreement, a scholarship for language study in Portugal,” Paet said, expressing his satisfaction over co-operation with Portugal.
The foreign ministers also discussed European Neighbourhood Policy Eastern Partnership and including Belarus in the Neighbourhood Policy. Foreign Minister Paet emphasised that the Eastern Partnership must become a concrete policy that will be an effective medium for allowing target states to become closer to the EU. When talking about Belarus, Paet emphasised the need for a strict and conditional yet positive policy. “Prerequisites for including Belarus in the Neighbourhood Policy must be progress in the nation and a desire to move forward with reforms based on democratic values and ensuring the basic rights of citizens,” said Paet.
On the initiative of the Portuguese foreign minister, the two also talked about the Mediterranean Union. Foreign Minister Paet expressed hope that the co-operation of the union, which was halted due to the military activity in Gaza, will see positive development and the Arab nations will continue co-operation with their Mediterranean partners.

Source: Estonian Review (vm.ee)

Amserv to start as Peugeot dealer in April

Under a co-operation agreement signed with the Peugeot importer KW Bruun Baltic, Amserv Grupp will become a dealer for Peugeot from April.
Peugeot cars will be sold and serviced by the dealerships of Ascar, a holding of Amserv Grupp, in Tallinn and Tartu.
Raivo Kutt, CEO of Amserv Grupp, said Amserv added Peugeot to the list of carmakers it acts as a dealer for out of the desire to strengthen its market position in the segment of utility vehicles, where Peugeot has occupied the leader’s position for years.
Amserv Grupp said in a press release it ranks as one of the largest car sale and service companies in the Baltic countries. Its 15 representations are located in Tallinn, Parnu, Tartu, Paide, Viljandi and Riga.
The addition of Peugeot will increase the number of brands represented by Amserv Grupp to seven, the other six being Toyota, Lexus, Opel, Chevrolet, Hyundai and Saab.
KW Bruun Baltic is the official importer of Peugeot vehicles to Estonia and Latvia.

Source: Estonian Review

Sales of self-scanning systems to retail sector increased

New Vision, the leading provider of information technologies for retail in Baltic States, reached 11,1 million euro of consolidated revenue. It is 17 % more than in 2007.  In year 2009 New Vision recommends for retailers not to save blindly but to  select those investments, which has a clear short term ROI.

In 2008 retailers were interested in innovations, which increase the effectiveness of business, and solutions, which optimize business process. As a result New Vision installed more than 80 self-checkouts, electronic shelf labels and presented an innovation in Baltic States – self-scanning system. Also to respond the new market request, the company installed BI solutions, CRM and a tool of debts management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV system.

During 2008 we have invested more than 145 thousands euro for various studies and trainings as well as workshops  to  learn and implement  best practices and know-how available at our partners. Also during economical growth period our focus was constantly on new product development. So now  we are fully ready to provide the solutions for retailers which would help them to increase efficiency and optimize their business processes. – says Evaldas Budvilaitis, CEO of UAB New Vision Baltija.

In  autumn of 2008 NEW VISION was awarded as “Knowledge Economy Company 2008” in Lithuania. UAB New Vision Baltija was announced the most innovative company of the year which in its business creates new knowledge, by its example inspires the others and helps the society.

Last year New Vision became an authorized ZEBRA printers’ service center in the Baltic States and got the gold partner status of LS Retail. Also New Vision got Business Intelligence Developer certification of MCITP-level and the fifth Microsoft OEM Hardware Solutions competency.

In such economical situation, the most popular method of surviving is the strong saving. We think that this solution alone won’t help. It is necessary to use technologies, which help to organize the company process effectively and have a short time of pay back period – suggests Evaldas Budvilaitis.


Baltika to open ten stores

The listed Estonian garment maker and seller Baltika is about to open ten new brand stores in Estonia in the first half of 2009, two of them in the south-western city of Pärnu, this Thursday.
Four stores will be opened in the extension of the Rocca Al Mare shopping centre in Tallinn that is due to be completed this spring and another four in the Baltika Quarter being developed on Veerenni Street, also in the capital city.
The Monton and Mosaic brand stores in Pärnu will open in the Pärnu Keskus shopping centre and take up a floor area of approximately 400 square meters combined.
After the outlets in Pärnu have opened, Baltika will have 31 stores in Estonia.

Source: Estonian Review

EU allocates 6.7 mEUR for Estonia-Latvia gas link

Aside from the Estlink-2 undersea power cable project, the project to build a gas link between Estonia and Latvia also stands to receive support from the EU’s economic stimulus package.
The size of the EU allocation for the gas link project is 6.7 million euros.
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said after the EU summit on Friday that according to the summit’s decision, Estonia will receive 8.3 million euros as support to develop broadband Internet. Other areas that are to be supported in Estonia include agriculture, said the prime minister.
It has been announced previously that Estlink-2 would get 100 million euros in EU support.
Estonia is contributing 117 million kroons to the five billion euro EU aid package but stands to get significantly more as recipient, the premier added.

Source: Estonian Review

Profit of Playtech soars 55 pct

The developer of online games and gaming environments Playtech has posted a profit of 41 million euros for 2008, which marks a 55% increase over the profit earned in the year before.
Playtech’s total revenues surged 70% to 112 million euros. The casino business gave 79 million euros and poker 30 million euros of revenues.
Playtech signed 15 new license agreements during the year.
The company observed in the report that the first months of 2009 have been successful for it as revenues have moved up in comparison with the end of 2008.
Playtech’s share has made gains in recent days and traded at four pounds sterling on Thursday.
Playtech does much of its development work in Estonia.

Source: Estonian Review