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InvestSlovenia http://dev.tend.si/investslovenia/ Bussiness news en.UTF-8 TYPO3 News Sat, 25 May 2019 21:14:15 +0200 Sat, 25 May 2019 21:14:15 +0200 TYPO3 EXT:news news-5604 Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 Tourist arrivals, nights up 3% in Q1 https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/tourist-arrivals-nights-up-3-in-q1-5604/ Ljubljana, 24 May (STA) - More than 921,000 tourist arrivals and more than 2.5 tourist nights were recorded in Slovenia in the first quarter of the year. Both figures are by 3% higher than the ones from the same period in 2018, shows data released on Friday by the Statistics Office (SURS). The two figures for foreign tourists and nights they spent in Slovenia in the same period was up almost 1% and 2% year on year, respectively.

SURS, which today presented in more detail tourism statistics for March, said Italy was the most important market for Slovenia in both the first quarter and March.

In March, Italian tourists accounted for 16% of all tourist nights, followed by tourists from Austria (12%), Croatia (8%), Germany (7%) and Hungary (6%).

However, a drop in arrivals from all the key markets was recorded that month, with the steeped drop of 19% accounted for by tourists from Germany.

In the January-to-March period, however, Italian tourists spent more than 224,000 nights in Slovenia, a drop of almost 6% from the same period last year.

In March, the majority of tourists visited spas, which accounted for 30% of all nights, followed by the mountains (21%), the seaside (18%) and the capital of Ljubljana (15%).

A rise in tourist nights in March was recorded in all types of tourist municipalities bar the mountainous ones. The most robust growth (+7%) was recorded in Ljubljana.

Ljubljana also saw an almost 7% rise in tourist nights in the first three months of 2019, followed by mountainous municipalities (+4%) and spas (+3%).

2018 was a record year for Slovenian tourism, with arrivals up 8% to 5.9 million and nights 10% to 15.7 million, both on account of foreign tourist, whereas the number of Slovenian tourists remained at the 2017 level.

This was largely in line with world and European trends in tourism.

Slovenia's goal is to increase the number of foreign tourists and extend the number of days a tourist spends in the country. More visits outside the main season are also one of the goals.

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news-5605 Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 Luka Koper reports stagnant Q1 profit https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/luka-koper-reports-stagnant-q1-profit-5605/ Koper, 24 May (STA) - Port operator Luka Koper reported a net profit of EUR 14.4 million for the first quarter of this year, up 1% over the year before. Sales revenue rose 8% in the same period to EUR 60.7 million, show unaudited results released on Friday. Profit before income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slipped 1% to EUR 24.4 million, as did pre-tax profit (EBIT), which totalled EUR 17.1 million.

The figures reflect a significant decline in total tonnage the port handled, which contracted by 3% to six million tonnes.

Measured in tonnes, container shipments rose 5% to 2.48 million tonnes and liquid cargoes were up 10% to 848,000 tonnes, but dry bulk was down 13% to just over two million tonnes and car shipments were down 16% to 258,000 tonnes.

The company spent EUR 12 million on investments in fixed assets, a nearly six-fold increase over the same period last year.

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news-5606 Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 NLB bank's Q1 net profit flat at EUR 58 million https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/nlb-banks-q1-net-profit-flat-at-eur-58-million-5606/ Ljubljana, 24 May (STA) - NLB, Slovenia's largest bank, reported a net profit of almost EUR 58m for the first quarter of the year, up marginally from the same quarter in 2018. Total net operating income amounted to EUR 133.8 million, a 3% increase year-on-year, underpinned by higher net interest income, which rose 6%, and higher net fees and commissions, which were up 2%.

Net interest income has grown in all banks of the Group as a result of loan volume growth and lower interest expenses, the bank said on Friday.

Total costs amounted to EUR 69.0 million and were 1% lower compared to the year before.

The volume of gross non-performing loans dropped by EUR 43.1 million (7%) over the end of 2018.

The share of non-performing loans dropped to 6.3%, while the internationally comparable ratio according to European Banking Authority guidelines dropped to 4.3% and was "close to the mid-term target".

The capital ratio (CET1, Tier 1, and Total capital ratio) reached 16.6%, which is above all regulatory requirements, according to NLB.

The Q1 report was examined by the bank's supervisory board on Friday, which established that "despite the challenging economic environment of low interest rates the NLB Group is on the right track to meet its medium-term targets."

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news-5600 Thu, 23 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 Krka Q1 net profit up 42% y/y to EUR 70.3m (adds) https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/krka-q1-net-profit-up-42-yy-to-eur-703m-adds-5600/ Novo Mesto, 23 May (STA) - The pharma company Krka reported on Thursday a net profit of EUR 70.4 million at group level for the first quarter of 2019, a 42% increase year-on-year. Revenue increased by 12% to EUR 378.5 million. The group recorded EUR 72.2 million in operating profit, a 17% year-on-year increase, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to EUR 99.9 million, a 10.5% improvement.

Krka generated EUR 378.5 million through product sales, with revenue from contracts with customers on sales of products and services amounting to EUR 377.3 million. Revenue from contracts with customers on sales of materials and other sales revenue constituted the difference, the company said.

The group, which generates 94% of its sales on foreign markets, saw growth in all regions, but the largest absolute increase was recorded in East Europe, where sales grew by 15% to EUR 122.1 million.

Sales in Russia totalled EUR 77.5 million, a 4% increase, while in Ukraine, product sales added up to EUR 18.9 million, a 76% improvement.

In Central Europe, sales were up 6% to EUR 85.9 million, with Poland accounting for EUR 39.8 million, in West Europe by 14% to EUR 84.3 million and in SE Europe also by 14% to EUR 50.4 million.

In overseas markets Krka generated product sales of EUR 12.6 million, 16% more than in the first quarter last year.

Krka recorded 13% growth in the sales of prescription pharmaceuticals, which generated a total of EUR 314.4 million or 83.3% of total sales.

The Krka group, which has 11,370 full-time employees and a combined workforce of 12,509, 27% more than at the end of 2018, spent EUR 23.7 million on investment in the first quarter, EUR 19.6 million of which went into the controlling company.

The Novo Mesto-based core company saw sales revenue decrease by roughly 1% to EUR 327.1 million, while net profit was up 25.3% to EUR 65.3 million.

Krka expects to generate EUR 1.375 billion in sales revenue in 2019 and EUR 172 million in net profit. The workforce is expected to grow by another 4%, while investment in planned to total at EUR 124 million.

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news-5601 Thu, 23 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 Tax share in labour costs slightly down in 2018 https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/tax-share-in-labour-costs-slightly-down-in-2018-5601/ Ljubljana, 23 May (STA) - The share of taxes in total labour costs in Slovenia has dropped a bit, from 40% in 2017 to 39.8% in 2018, show figures released by national statisticians on Thursday. This means that 39.8% of the pay earned by a person in paid employment who earned 67% of the average gross wage went for taxes and 60.2% for their net pay.

The Statistics Office (SURS) explains that for this purpose a person in paid employment means a worker who receives an average pay in industry and services.

But when a person moves from unemployment to employment, the tax burden was at 90.5% for a single person without children, down 0.5% over the year before.

When a single unemployed person got a job, their net income increased by a mere 9.5% of gross earnings, which SURS termed the "unemployment trap".

This indicator shows the difference in a person's net income at moving from unemployment to employment due to moving into higher tax brackets and paying higher social contributions than during unemployment.

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news-5602 Thu, 23 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 Number of registered motor vehicles up 3% last year https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/number-of-registered-motor-vehicles-up-3-last-year-5602/ Ljubljana, 23 May (STA) - There were a total of 1.57 million registered vehicles in Slovenia at the end of last year, of which 1.52 million were motor vehicles and 50,000 trailers, which is 3% and 6% more compared to 2017, respectively, the Statistics Office reported on Thursday. The number of registered cars was up by 2% to 1.14 million or 73 of all registered motor vehicles.

More than 146,000 vehicles were registered for the first time in Slovenia in 2018, which is 4% less year-on-year. This number included almost 108,000 cars, 6% more than in 2017.

The number of cargo vehicles registered for the first time last year was up by 11% compared to 2017, while the number of trailers increased by 8%.

Among all vehicles registered for the first time last year, more than 103,000 or 71% were brand-new vehicles. Their number was down by 9% compared to 2017.

Last year, 50% of the registered vehicles had petrol engines, and 49% diesel engines, with the number of the former dropping by 1% compared to 2017 and the number of the latter increasing by 5%.

The number of registered hybrid cars was up by 52% to exceed 4,600, while the number of electric cars was up by 68% to over 1,300.

The average age of cars registered in Slovenia last year was 10.1 years. The youngest cars on average were driven by residents of the Ljubljana municipality (9.1 years).

According to the Statistics Office, there were 549 registered cars per 1,000 citizens in Slovenia last year.

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news-5603 Thu, 23 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 Intereuropa's profit down in Q1 https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/intereuropas-profit-down-in-q1-5603/ Koper, 23 May (STA) - Logistics company Intereuropa reported a net profit of EUR 831,000 for the first quarter of the year, down 35% on the year before, even as sales revenue rose 2% to EUR 39.7 million. Profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slumped by 18% year-on-year to EUR 2.9 million, and operating profit was down 37% to EUR 1.3 million, the company said on Thursday.

Net financial debt was reduced by EUR 1.6 million compared to the end of 2018, to EUR 58.6 million.

Intereuropa was recently acquired by the national postal company Pošta Slovenije pending regulatory clearance.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but is believed to be in the EUR 100 million range together with debt.

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news-5599 Wed, 22 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 GZS optimistic about exports, added value and investments https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/gzs-optimistic-about-exports-added-value-and-investments-5599/ Ljubljana, 22 May (STA) - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) is happy with record aggregate revenue and profit posted by Slovenian companies in 2018, and is optimistic about 2019 and 2020. It anticipates 7% growth in sales, 6% growth in added value and 8% growth in investment for this year. Revenue generated by companies in Slovenia in 2018 exceeded EUR 100 billion for the first time, with a record EUR 4.2 billion posted in net profit, AJPES figures show.

Presenting the figures at Tuesday's GZS assembly founding session, GZS chief economist Bojan Ivanc attributed the high profit foremost to economic growth of the recent years.

Exports reached EUR 40.7 billion last year, up EUR 24 billion over 2008. In this period, the share of exports in overall sales was up from 31% to 41%.

"This means export competitiveness has actually increased," Ivanc commented on the figures.

While domestic sales were weak, they will grow in the future, "perhaps even a bit faster than sales abroad", he believes.

However, "it would be wrong to assume that the share of exports in overall sales would grow at the same pace as until now."

Ivanc believes gross margins, or the share of value added in overall revenue, should be given more attention with a view to raise them.

Last year, gross margins were close to the 22.9% ten-year average, he said, explaining this was the main indicator of the quality of sold products and services.

Added value totalled EUR 22 billion, up EUR 4 billion from 2008, with Ipavec attributing the growth mostly to a quantitative rise in production rather than better quality of production.

He also believes the trend of productivity lagging behind wage growth, which he said had happened for two years in a row now, should be reversed.

The added value per employee stood at around EUR 35,000 in 2008 and at EUR 44,415 in 2018.

EBITDA dropped to 9.2% in what he said was the second consecutive annual drop, which he believes resulted from higher labour costs.

The companies earmarked 5.3% of their annual sales, or EUR 5.2 billion, for investments, slightly more than the long-term average.

Their relative debt, being 2.3-fold higher than EBITDA, dropped to the lowest in a decade.

The most powerful employers' organisation is also optimistic about future medium-term prospects, for 2019 and 2020.

It believes sales will grow by 7% in 2019 and 6% in 2020, exports by 6.5% and 5%, respectively, and added value by 6% and 5%.

Added value per employee is to go up by 3% each of the two years, and net profit by 5% each year. Investments will also grow further, by 8% and 6%, respectively.

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news-5594 Tue, 21 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 OECD Slovenia growth forecast downgraded for 2019, upgraded for 2020 https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/oecd-slovenia-growth-forecast-downgraded-for-2019-upgraded-for-2020-5594/ Ljubljana, 21 May (STA) - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has downgraded its forecast for Slovenia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for this year by 0.2 percentage points to 3.4%, while upgrading the 2020 forecast by 0.4 points to 3.1%. In the forecast published on Tuesday, the OECD said that Slovenia's economic growth remained strong, being powered by the solid domestic consumption.

Domestic consumption is supported by the improving situation on the labour market, growth of wages in real terms and a high consumer confidence rate.

The Paris-based organisation noted that Slovenia's fiscal policy for this year was expansive, while that for 2020 was neutral, adding that Slovenia should make its fiscal policy stricter to keep inflation pressure in check and ensure fiscal sustainability.

Measures such as restricting early retirement and facilitating privatisation would contribute to mobilising labour resources which are not fully utilised at the moment, and make labour force available to fast-growing industries, the OECD added.

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news-5595 Tue, 21 May 2019 00:00:00 +0200 OECD Slovenia growth forecast downgraded for 2019, upgraded for 2020 (adds) https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/oecd-slovenia-growth-forecast-downgraded-for-2019-upgraded-for-2020-adds-5595/ Ljubljana, 21 May (STA) - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has downgraded its forecast for Slovenia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for this year by 0.2 percentage points to 3.4%, while upgrading the 2020 forecast by 0.4 points to 3.1%. In the forecast published on Tuesday, the OECD said that Slovenia's economic growth remained strong, being powered by the solid domestic consumption.

Domestic consumption is supported by the improving situation on the labour market, growth of wages in real terms and a high consumer confidence rate.

The EU structural funds, the companies' needs for additional production capacities and favourable financing conditions are maintaining a strong investment growth, while exports are slowing down due to lower demand.

The OECD expects that private consumption will increase this year by 3% (3.1% in 2020), state investments by 2.2% (1.9% in 2020), companies' investments in fixed assets by 8% (7.2% in 2020), exports by 5.8% (7% in 2020) and imports by 5.2% (5.9% in 2020).

Employment continues to grow, with hiring of foreign workforce also being on the increase, the OECD said, adding that the shortage of workforce was nevertheless the highest in the last ten years.

The Paris-based organisation noted that Slovenia's fiscal policy for this year was expansive, while that for 2020 was neutral, adding that Slovenia should make its fiscal policy stricter to keep inflation pressure in check and ensure fiscal sustainability.

Measures such as restricting early retirement and facilitating privatisation would contribute to mobilising labour resources which are not fully utilised at the moment, and make labour force available to fast-growing industries, the OECD added.

It said it expected economic growth in Slovenia to slow down in 2019-2020, adding that the higher domestic demand and growth of investments would be covered with higher imports.

Given the weaker demand from abroad and higher labour costs, the growth of exports will slow down, while the employment rate will drop below the natural rate, which is expected to facilitate wage growth and increase inflation.

Slovenia's economic growth could be higher than projected if households save less and increase consumption, or lower than projected if companies fail to increase their production capacities to the expected level.

This could result in a drop in their competitiveness and lower exports, the OECD said, adding that economic growth in Slovenia could also be negatively affected by a possible strong real estate market correction.

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