Businesses made less profit this year

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 3rd quarter of 2014, the total profit of the business sector was 859 million euros, 7% less than the same time a year ago.

The profit of the business sector was negatively influenced mostly by construction and wholesale activities. The profit of manufacturing, which holds the largest share in the total profit of the business sector, decreased 13%, mainly due to a decrease in the profits of the export-oriented manufacture of electronics, and wood and fuel oil products. The biggest positive contribution to total profit was made by transportation and storage, and accommodation and food service activities.

In the 3rd quarter of 2014, enterprises sold goods and services for 12.6 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 4%, 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 7%.

Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2013, the total costs of enterprises decreased 1%. Personnel expenses increased 8%. The number of persons employed and the number of hours worked increased 3% and 6%, respectively. The quarterly labour productivity of the business sector on the basis of the value added amounted to an average of 5,600 euros per person employed, remaining on the level of the previous year.

The investment activity of enterprises continues to decrease. In the 3rd quarter of 2014, enterprises invested 586 million euros, which was 16% less than in the same period of the previous year. The largest investments were made mainly in buildings, equipment and machinery. The main investors were energy, manufacturing and transportation and storage enterprises with a half of the total investments of enterprises. Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2013, there was an increase in investments in land and computers. Other investments decreased, with investments in equipment and machinery declining the most.

Diagram: Total profit of the business sector, 1st quarter 2010 – 3rd quarter 2014

Source: Statistics Estonia

Saaremaa businesses eyeing 25 MEUR conference center

A group of businesspeople are planning to build a 25 million euro concert and conference venue in the capital of the Estonian island of Saaremaa and are hoping to raise the necessary money from local businesses and EU funds.

“Even though the planned center is not tangible reality yet, negotiations are under way and Saaremaa businesspeople have a firm intention of building a center for international events namely in Kuressaare or near it. The aim is to host at least 40 international conferences per year, which would bring the region some 12 million euros of additional revenue,” Tullio Liblik, member of the group, said in a press release.

The main hall of the multifunctional concert and conference center would have a capacity of 1,600 seats and an overall capacity of up to 4,390. In-between major conferences it would serve as a theater, a venue for concerts, exhibitions and receptions. In addition to the main hall the facility would have several smaller conference and rehearsal rooms as well as a planetarium.

Liblik said that while the decision about the location has yet to be made, several potential sites on Kuressaare’s fringes or just outside the city boundaries were being considered. The initial draft places the center on the shore of Poduste River near the Kuressaare golf center, with a view of the sea and Kuressaare Castle.

A competition for the architectural design will be held once the detailed plan has been approved, Saare County Governor Kaido Kaasik said.

Source: BNS via Estonian Review

Lawyer named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’

raidlaThe founder and senior partner of law firm Raidla Lejins & Norcous, Jüri Raidla, has been named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, with Merinvest CEO Enn Meri picking up the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

Raidla founded the company in 1993, a year after serving as the Minister of Justice. Raidla Lejins & Norcous has expanded to Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus, employing 120 lawyers and 35 support staff.

Raidla and his company have also received international recognition.

Meri, who owns and leads car part manufacturer Merinvest, returned to Estonia in 1991 and set up a string of manufacturing companies, some of which are still active today.

He said his main factory is in Kuressaare, because he was born there and the staff are more loyal: “The further you are from Tallinn, the more loyal the staff are,” he noted.

Meri said that Estonia has one of the best environments for business in Europe. He recently joined the new Free Party and plans to run for Parliament.

The ceremony, organized by the Ernst & Young Baltic, took place for the seventh time. Brothers Peeter and Priit Rebane won the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award last year.

Source: ERR via Estonian Review

Estonia is 17th in ease of doing business

World Bank Group’s annual Doing Businessreport measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it was published today. In comparison of business regulations and protection of property rights across 189 economies, Estonia is ranked 17th, one place down from last year.

Each economy is evaluated based on how close their business regulations are to the best global practices. They are given the distance to frontier (DTF) score. Estonia’s DFT score is 78.84 – 0.3 percent more than last year – and, along with Denmark and Singapore, it sets the frontier for time it takes to export goods.

Doing Business 2015 measured regulations affecting 10 categories: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Estonia’s received its best rankings in trading across borders (6th) and registering property (13th), and worst in getting electricity and protecting minority investors (both 56th).

The list is topped once again by Singapore with DTF score 88.27, followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and South Korea. Of the immediate neighbors Finland is 9th, Sweden 11th, Latvia 23rd, Lithuania 24th and Russia 62nd.

Source: ERR News


Dairy producers launch a new brand to boost sales

Estonian dairy producers have launched a new “Eesti Piim” (“Estonian Milk”) brand that invites people to drink more local milk to alleviate the crisis brought about by the Russian embargo on dairy products.

Märt Riisenberg, chairman of the board of the Commercial Association of Estonian Dairy Producers (EPIKO), said that the effect of the Russian sanctions can be balanced out a little by boosting the sales in the local market. If every consumer drank an extra glass of milk a day, the total milk consumption would grow by 10 percent, or 200 tons. This is comparable to the amount that was previously exported to Russia.

EPIKO’s “Eesti Piim” brand will be made available, initially for three months, in Selver, ETK, Rimi, Maxima, Gross and Comarket stores.

EPIKO currently unites around 80 dairy producers.

Source: ERR News

Company of the Year – marina developer Top Marine

Enterprise Estonia (EAS) announced its Company of the Year Awards winners in a lavish ceremony on Thursday evening. The first-ever Company of the Year award was given to Estonia’s leading marina developer Top Marine Ltd.

Top Marine Ltd, a small family business owned by Anneli and Andry Prodel, produces a range of pontoons and mooring products, offering solutions to floating dry-docks from initial product design to final production. The largest projects that the company has been part of are marinas in Riga in Latvia, Turku in Finland, and Kärdla on the island of Hiiumaa, Estonia.

A marina differs from a port in that a marina does not handle large passenger ships or cargo from freighters. The company’s production unit is based near Rakvere and employs 15 people.

Top Marine was founded in 2004 and first outsourced its services to Finland.

All raw material comes from Estonia and about 80 percent of the final produce is exported. Top Marine has clients from Estonia to Singapore.

The Prodel family told ETV’s “Terevisioon” that their success is very much down to the fact that they have been able to combine work with lifestyle factors.

“Our best marketers are our products,” Anneli Prodel said.

Source: ERR News

HKScan to invest 20 mEUR into Rakvere plant

The Finnish food group HKScan is planning to invest 20 million euros into its meat processing factory in Rakvere.

The plan is to build a new production unit at the Rakvere production unit with a total area of around 10,000 square meters. The planned investment is to mainly support drawing up the group’s new brand Flodins, the company said.

The planning stage of the investment is to last until the spring of 2015.

Source: BBN


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