Retail sales 390 euros per inhabitant in December 2015

According to Statistics Estonia, in December 2015 compared to December 2014, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 10% at constant prices. While in November, the retail sales increased 6% compared to the same month of the previous year, in December the retail sales growth accelerated.

In December 2015, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 510.7 million euros, which was about 390 euros per inhabitant.

The retail sales of stores selling manufactured goods accelerated in December. The retail sales of those stores increased 11% in November compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, whereas in December the growth was 18%. Sales increased in all economic activities. Sales increased the most (46%) in other specialised stores, such as stores selling computers and their accessories, books, sports equipment, games and toys etc. A higher than average increase in retail sales occurred also in retail sales via mail order or the Internet (30% growth) and in stores selling second-hand goods and in non-store retail sale (stalls, markets, direct sale) (29% growth). In December, the retail sales in stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials and the retail sales in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear which showed a small decline in November, turned to rise again and grew 8% and 5%, respectively, compared to the same month of the previous year.

The growth in grocery stores, which decelerated in November, accelerated again in December and sales increased 3% compared to December 2014.

The retail sales of automotive fuel increased 9% at constant prices compared to December 2014.

In December compared to November 2015, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 24% at constant prices. This is a usual rise in December, when the Christmas and turn-of-the-year sales take place.

In December, the turnover of retail trade enterprises was 584 million euros, out of which the retail sales of goods accounted for 87%. Compared to December 2014, the turnover increased by 7% at constant prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator increased 20%.

According to preliminary data, the retail sales of retail trade enterprises were approximately 5.2 billion euros in 2015. Compared to 2014 the retail sales increased 8% at constant prices.

Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend

The statistics are based on the questionnaire “Turnover”, the deadline of which was 15.01.2016, and on the VAT declaration data from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary in 9 working days.

As of 2016, Statistics Estonia will start using only the VAT declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and stop collecting data with the questionnaire “Turnover”. This will reduce the response burden of entrepreneurs and Statistics Estonia’s expenditure on data collection, and increase the use of administrative data. Due to the change in the data source, the monthly news release “Retail trade” will focus on the turnover of retail trade enterprises, instead of the retail sales of such enterprises (the first news release for 2016, “Retail trade, January 2016”, will be published on 02.03.2016). Statistics Estonia will continue publishing the retail sales indicator of retail trade enterprises on a quarterly and yearly basis.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Eesti Telekom adopts Telia Eesti as new business name

AS Eesti Telekom, Estonian holding of the Scandinavian telecom group TeliaSonera, has adopted Telia Eesti as its new business name and will abandon the EMT and Elion trade marks.

The group had been planning a brand change for years, Telia Eesti CEO Dan Stromberg told Postimees. “Finally it was found that Telia is the best option because we are using it in Sweden and Denmark already, it’s easy to pronounce and to use. Besides it shows that a customer can use our services in all the Nordic countries.”

In addition to the brand change Telia Eesti will introduce a new roaming service meaning free roaming for Estonian users in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, Finland and Latvia.

A second new service is home internet and television over the mobile network. “We can now offer our services to all these 150,000 households to whom we had to say ‘no’ earlier,” Stromberg said.

In accordance with an entry registered on Jan.19,2016, the business name AS Eesti Telekom has been dropped and the new name of the group is Telia Eesti AS, it appears from the commercial register.

Until 2014, Eesti Telekom used to be the holding company for the subsidiaries Elion Ettevõtted and EMT. As part of a reorganization of the Teliasonera group the companies were merged into AS Eesti Telekom in 2014.

Teliasonera group was established in 2002 as a result of a merger of the Telia telecommunications group of Sweden and Sonera of Finland.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

ABB Estonia exported over 200 wind generators in 2016

The manufacturer of energy sector and automatics equipment ABB Eesti exported a couple of hundred wind generators with a capacity of 2 to 5 megawatts to Spain, Denmark and Germany during 2015.

“The main markets are Spain, Denmark and Germany. But we exported to countries outside Europe too, such as diesel generators for ships to South Korea,” Matti Pekkarinen, head of the electrical machines division for the Baltic countries at ABB, told BNS.

The power generators and frequency changers for wind generators are manufactured at the plant of ABB Eesti in Jüri not far from Tallinn.

“As far as manufacture and sales go, we are talking about Estonia because we have no manufacturing facilities in Latvia and Lithuania,” Pekkarinen said.

He couldn’t say how big was ABB’s revenue from Estonian exports.

Asked about ABB’s plans in Estonia for the current year, Pekkarinen said that uncertainty in the global economy is affecting also the developers of wind farms and financing of large projects has been postponed.

“Things are better in the outlook for the longer term, especially if we look at the decisions made globally and on the national level that have to do with halting climate change and support a rise in the share of renewable energy,” Pekkarinen said.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

Tallink opens a new logistics center in Maardu

The listed Estonian shipper Tallink Grupp opened on Jan.14, 2016 a new logistics centre in the town of Maardu near Tallinn.

The facility was built by Merko Ehitus Eesti at a cost of six million euros exclusive of VAT.

The head of Tallink Duty Free, Aimar Pärna, said that basing on the volume of and demand for logistical services it was expedient for the company to develop and start operating a central logistics centre of its own that would secure the fastest and most cost-effective service to its fleet and hotel network.

The area of the centre is 14,500 square meters and it has 12 kilometres of shelves. It is able to release a million product lines and send out 2,500 trailers of goods annually. The centre will receive 5,000 trucks and 100,000 pallets a year.

The new facility creates 20 additional jobs and will employ up to 60 people in all.

The construction started at the end of April 2015.

The works were commissioned by Infor Invest, a holding of Tallink Grupp major owner Infortar.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

TeliaSonera and Ericsson to go 5G

TeliaSonera and Ericsson have entered into a strategic partnership to let customers in Stockholm and Tallinn experience 5G services already in 2018.

Based on TeliaSonera and Ericsson’s common understanding of market and customer needs, the two companies will develop 5G use-cases and service scenarios, including both communication and Internet of Things (IoT) services with the purpose to address new business opportunities, the companies announced today. The partnership will bring 5G services to customers in 2018 by combining the TeliaSonera network with Ericsson technology.

“Stockholm and Tallinn are two of the most connected cities in the world and now we will take them to the next level. 5G will create completely new innovations, ecosystems and great services to our customers,” Johan Dennelind, President and CEO TeliaSonera, said in a press release.

Potential 5G applications could include e-health with real time surveillance of patients and remote treatment; connected cars including critical communication between vehicles (warnings, support to self-driving cars etc) as well as better network performance in terms of capacity, coverage and power consumption.

Sweden has long been a pioneer ICT-nation and notably Ericsson and TeliaSonera launched the world’s first 4G network in Sweden in 2009. Estonia has acknowledged the economic importance of a digital society and is one of the most advanced e-societies in the world.

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, there will be 150 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2021.

Source: ERR via Estonian Review

Tallink names its new LNG powered ferry Megastar

Tallink`s new LNG powered fast ferry delivered in 2017 will be named Megastar, the company has announced. The name was chosen among 21 550 name proposals submitted to the public name contest.

The keel-laying ceremony of the new vessel will take place at the Meyer Turku Yard in Finland on February 9.

According to the Chairman of the Board of AS Tallink Grupp, Janek Stalmeister the name enables to maintain the unity among the names in the Tallink Shuttle fast ferry family, which includes the Star and the Superstar. “As Megastar will be among the largest of her kind in the world, this name expresses perfectly the characteristics of the ship. It is also easy to pronounce in Estonian, Finnish and other languages. As there were so numerous entries with that name, we also see it as the wish of many of our passengers“, Stalmeister said, explaining that the name was proposed by more than 300 times as part of the naming competition. Altogether there were 14,200 entries from Finland, 5,300 entries from Estonia and 2,050 entries through the international website.

The production of the new LNG powered fast ferry started in Meyer Turku Yard in Finland on August 4.

The price of the ship is 230 million Euros and it is planned to be delivered in the beginning of 2017.

Megastar will be 212 meters long, can accommodate altogether 2,800 passengers and will start operating on Tallinn-Helsinki route.

The new environmentally friendly ship uses LNG as fuel and she will comply with the new and stricter emission regulations for the ECA areas including the Baltic Sea. The ship, with a gross tonnage of 49 000 and service speed of 27 knots, will bring significant improvement in energy efficiency. The highly innovative hull form minimizes the flow resistance and ensures that the ship operates well in ice conditions.

Source: ERR via Estonian Review

Shale oil producer to lay off nearly 500 workers

Citing a continuous significant decline in global oil prices, the northeast Estonia based shale oil producer Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) announced on Jan.15 2016 it will make approximately 500 employees redundant.

The management board of VKG decided to conserve the oil plants using Kiviter technology. Production of shale oil will continue at three oil shale processing plants using Petroter technology for which oil shale is mined at VKG’s own Ojamaa mine, VKG said.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

Knowledge of the Estonian language is required from taxy drivers

The government here on Thursday gave its nod to a proposal that would put off by one year the start of the application of the requirement for taxi drivers to have B1 proficiency level in Estonian language.

The government decided to support in principle a bill of amendment of the Public Transport Act initiated by MPs Deniss Borodits and Urve Palo that would allow persons not having a service provider card to work as taxi drivers until April 1, 2017, spokespeople for the government said.

Under the valid Public Transport Act, a person providing the taxi service must have a service provider card, which is issued to persons having a valid right to drive at least a category B power-driven vehicle, who have completed a taxi driver training course, have at least level B1 proficiency in Estonian, and comply with the requirement of good repute. Under the now valid law the service provider card becomes mandatory from April 1, 2016.

Borodits told BNS postponement of the requirement to have a service provider card was necessary because during the period left until April 1 not all taxi drivers will be able to obtain such a card.

The government did not back a bill of the opposition Center Party calling for a gradual introduction of the language requirement.

Critics of the law say that in the Russian-speaking north-eastern border city Narva, for instance, most taxi drivers will become not eligible for their job when the requirement takes effect.

A complaint over this has been filed with the European Commission by MEP Yana Toom from the Estonian Center Party.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

13,973 births and 15,389 deaths in 2015

Altogether 13,973 births and 15,389 deaths were registered by branches of the vital statistics office across Estonia during 2015.

Of the children born, boys numbered 7,170 and girls 6,803.

Births numbered 5,249 in Tallinn, 1,680 in Harju county, 60 in Hiiu county, 1,203 in East-Viru county, 265 in Jõgeva county, 267 in Järva county, 209 in Lääne county, 576 in West-Viru county, 212 in Põlva county, 820 in Pärnu county, 290 in Rapla county, 289 in Saare county, 1,853 in Tartu county, 261 in Valga county, 448 in Viljandi county and 291 in Võru county.

The names most often given to boys were Rasmus, Robin, Oliver, Artjom, Maksim, Robert, Martin, Kaspar, Oskar and Henri.

The most popular girl’s names were Sofia, Eliise, Maria, Sandra, Laura, Mia, Alisa, Milana, Lenna ja Polina.

The number of marriages concluded was 6,429 and of marriages divorced 2,691. Persons changing their name opted for a new first name on 262 occasions, for a new surname on 1,526 occasions and for both on 153 occasions.

In 2014, 13,692 births and 15,533 deaths were registered in Estonia. The respective figures for 2013 were 13,831 and 15,474.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

The minimum voting age in local polls will be 16 years

A bill of amendments to the local council election law and related laws aimed at lowering the minimum voting age in local polls to 16 years passed its third and final reading in the Estonian parliament on Thursday.

The bill initiated by the parliamentary constitutional affairs committee was passed with votes 55 to 30 and four abstentions.

The Local Government Council Election Act had to be changed to bring it into line with a constitutional amendment that stepped into effect in August 2015, which reduced the voting age in local elections from 18 years to 16 years.

According to the amendment persons who have turned 16 by the day of the election will have the right to vote in the election of the council of the municipality they reside in.

The bill failed to pass last November, falling two votes short of the required majority of 51.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review