Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 31 August 2019

By , 31 Aug 2019, 02:11 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 31 August 2019 Flickr - Ben Mason CC by 2.0

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A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Slovenia's GDP growth slows down in Q2 to 2.5%

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.5% in the second quarter of the year in real terms, or by 2.6% when adjusted for season and working days. Both figures indicate a slow-down compared to the previous quarter. The seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter GDP growth ran at 0.2%, the Statistics Office reported. This too is a 0.4 percentage-point slow-down compared to the first quarter. The Statistics Office also revised data for GDP growth in 2018, to 4.1% in real terms, which is a 0.4 percentage point downgrade from the February estimate, and a 0.7 percentage point drop from 2017.

Šarec to visit Russia in mid-September

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will pay a visit to Russia on 10 and 11 September to meet his counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister's office announced, adding that the visit was intended for strengthening political dialogue and economic ties with Russia. This will be the first visit by Šarec to Russia since he took over as prime minister in August 2018. According to his office, the purpose of the visit is to "confirm the good relations between the countries, strengthen bilateral dialogue and seek opportunities for further development of all-around cooperation."

Petrol's revenue, profit up in first six months

LJUBLJANA - The group around fuel retailer Petrol saw its sales revenue rise by 15% to EUR 2.73 billion in the first six months of the year, with its net profit up by 4% to EUR 40.7 million year-on-year. The operating profit rose by 23% to EUR 66.1 million, the Ljubljana-based energy group said. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 25% to EUR 98.7 million.

Luka Koper group net profit down 28% in first half

KOPER - Port operator Luka Koper posted revenue of EUR 120 million in the first half of the year, up 6% over the same period in 2018. Net profit declined by 28% to EUR 25 million. The bulk of the decline in profit is attributed to a damage claim worth over EUR 9 million. The second major reason is an increase in labour costs of EUR 8.4 million due to the hiring of workers that had previously been sourced from port services companies.

Slovenia's annual inflation at 2.3% in August

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation in August reached 2.3%, whereas the prices of consumer goods rose by an average 0.4% at the monthly level, the Statistics Office said. Since last August, the prices of services have increased by 3.1% and the prices of goods by 1.9%. The annual inflation rate was driven by higher prices in the group of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, contributing 0.7 percentage points to it. The harmonised index of consumer prices, an EU benchmark, stood at 2.4% in August, up 0.4 points from August 2018.

Survey unemployment rate in Q2 close to pre-crisis level

LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office reported that the survey unemployment rate for the second quarter of the year was at 4.2%, which is a whole percentage point down compared to the same period last year and close to the lowest rate ever recorded, the 4.1% rate observed in the third quarter of 2008. The rate for the April-June period was meanwhile down by 0.6 of a percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Telekom shareholders get EUR 4.50 per share

LJUBLJANA - The shareholders of Telekom Slovenije, the majority state-owned telecoms incumbent, endorsed dividends of EUR 4.50 per share, which makes for a total dividend payout of EUR 29.3 million. This is in line with the proposal by management and significantly below EUR 14.30 per share that the shareholders secured last year, when Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) sidelined the management's proposal and more than doubled the proposed dividend payout. The company also got two new supervisors, with Igor Rozman, a director at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, and Barbara Cerovšek Zupančič, an executive at the bank DBS, being appointed at the proposal of SSH.

Unior group with higher revenue, lower net profit in H1

ZREČE - The group around Unior, the Zreče-based maker of forged metals and tools, generated EUR 132.1 million in sales revenue in the first half of the year, up 4.9% year-on-year, while net profit was down by 4.1% to EUR 9.4 million. The unaudited report says that the lower net profit was mainly a consequence of slightly poorer results of subsidiaries. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at the group level were up by 2.2% to EUR 19 million.

Battery maker Tab mulling Li-ion future

MEŽICA - Tab, the Mežica-based maker of starter batteries for cars and industrial batteries, is mulling a partnership to branch out into the production of lithium-ion batteries of the kind used for electric cars, with CEO Bogomir Auprih announcing that the decision would be made by the end of the year. The company would partner with foreign companies to launch production, presumably in Slovenia, where it has its main production location. Tab is among top ten battery producers in the world and ranks sixth among manufacturers of industrial-grade batteries.

Heta sells half a billion package of Slovenian bad claims

LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of Heta Asset Resolution, the bad bank that took over the assets of bankrupt Austrian bank Hypo Alpe Adria, has endorsed the sale of Heta's remaining claims in Slovenia as it prepares to wind down its Slovenian operations, the STA has learned. Judging by the public call for bids, the package is valued at EUR 551 million and includes EUR 386 million in non-performing claims. While the buyer has not been disclosed officially, news portal Siol reported earlier this week that MK Group, the investment vehicle of Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostić, had submitted the best bid, offering EUR 230-250 million for the package.

Two hotels in Bled sold to Chinese investors

BLED - A Ljubljana-based company, reportedly in Chinese ownership, has bought two four-star hotels in the popular holiday resort of Bled, north-west. The value of the deal is not known, but news portal Siol said it could be around 10 million euro. The Kompas and Lovec hotels, which have 95 and 52 rooms, respectively, were sold by Kompas Hoteli Bled, a firm controlled by Ivan Tatić and Milorad Sikima. The Bled hotels were bought by Golden Forest, a company whose ownership is unclear, according to Siol.

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

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