According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2015, the total profit of the business sector was 650 million euros, which was 9% less than in the same period a year ago.
Compared to the 1st quarter of 2014, total profit decreased in almost all economic activities.
The biggest contribution to the total profit was made by trade, real estate and transportation and storage enterprises. The growth in the profit of the business sector was negatively influenced mostly by manufacturing, information and communication and agricultural enterprises. The profit of manufacturing decreased about a fourth, mainly due to the decrease in profits in the export-oriented manufacture of electronics, metal products and wood.
In the 1st quarter of 2015, enterprises sold goods and services for 11.6 billion euros, which was 2% less than in the same period a year ago. The turnover of trade enterprises, which have the biggest share in the total turnover of the business sector, decreased 7%, influenced mostly by a decrease in the turnover of wholesale trade. At the same time, the turnover of retail trade continued to grow. The turnover of manufacturing enterprises increased 5%.
Compared to the 1st quarter of 2014, the total costs of enterprises decreased 1%, while personnel expenses increased 8%. The number of persons employed and the number of hours worked increased 4% and 5%, respectively. The labour productivity of the business sector on the basis of value added amounted to an average of 5,080 euros per person employed in a quarter and was 2% smaller than in the 1st quarter of 2014.
In the 1st quarter of 2015, enterprises invested 458 million euros, which was about a tenth less than in the same period the year before. The decrease in investments compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year continued for the sixth quarter in a row. The largest investments were made mainly in equipment and machinery and buildings. The main investors were manufacturing, energy, trade and transportation and storage enterprises with more than a half of the total investments of enterprises. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2014, the investments in buildings, in vehicles and in computers increased. Other investments decreased, with the biggest decrease registered in investments in equipment and machinery.
Source: Statistics Estonia