According to a new report by the Czech Statistical Office, Czech industrial companies saw their net profits triple between 2000 and 2004, up to 179 billion crowns, or over 8 billion US dollars. Profits in the food and tobacco industries multiplied by up to six times while those of vehicle producers, one of the driving forces of the Czech economy, multiplied by five times. However, these increases were coupled with an overall decrease in the workforce, which shrank by 35,000 employees over the same period, reaching its lowest point in 2004 before industrial producers started to hire again.
Ahead of the release of official figures on foreign trade, business analysts have estimated a revised trade surplus for the month of May of between 5 billion and 6.5 billion crowns (223 to 291 million USD), after a worrisome slowdown in exports the month before. Economists attribute the increase to the revival of economic activities in Western Europe, and predict that trade surpluses for the year may reach as high as 70 billion crowns, just over 3 billion US dollars, and contribute to a 6 percent growth in GDP.
The German company Teleplan, who provides warranty services for mobile phones, computers and other high-tech items, will invest up to 14.3 million crowns (640,000 USD) into opening a Czech branch by the end of July. It says it chose the Czech Republic over competitors Poland and Hungary for its economic growth, availability of skilled labour and its logistical position.
The head of the SPGroup, Pavel Sehnal has announced that he intends to invest more than 12 billion crowns, over 5 billion USD, into the Prazsky Veletrzni Areal exhibition facility in Prague's Letnany ward. He intends to expand the facility so that it could be named as a world class sports facility in a Czech bid for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The national air carrier Czech Airlines (CSA) now offers more Eastern destinations as a result of expanded code-share cooperation with its Russian counterpart Aeroflot. CSA passengers may now fly to several cities in Southwestern Siberia, and Aeroflot passengers can now fly through Prague to destinations in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Czech Airlines says it intends to focus on obtaining more Eastern destinations as part of its new development strategy.
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events