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[February 08, 2013]
COMPANIES AND INDUSTRIES [IntelliNews - Weekly Reports]
(IntelliNews - Weekly Reports Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) COMPANIES AND INDUSTRIESHungary buys E.ON's local units, price undisclosed.
The Hungarian government has signed a declaration of intent to buy the local gas business of German power utility E.ON, portfolio.hu reported, citing PM Viktor Orban. The value of the deal was not disclosed but Orban said media reports on a EUR 800mn price were not unrealistic. According to Nepszabadsag daily, MVM was authorised to pay up to EUR 875mn for E.ON's units - E.ON Foldgaz Trade Zrt, Hungary's biggest gas trader, E.ON Foldgaz Storage, which owns most of the country's natural gas storage facilities. The assets of the two companies will be transferred to state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM). Orban said the deal will help the country's boost its energy security and will result in lower prices for households as the state will directly negotiate with key supplier Russia's Gazprom. Hungary's gas import deal with Gazprome expires in 2015.
Hungary's M&A market more than halves to USD 550mn in 2012.
The value of Hungary's merger and acquisition deals shrank to USD 550mn in 2012 from USD 1.8bn a year ago, Vilaggazdasag daily reported citing data from consultancy Ernst & Young. Deals valued over USD 100mn have not been announced in 2012. The number of M&A deals in Hungary decreased by 26% y/y to 82 in 2012. Hungary lagged behind its central European peers Czech Republic (USD 8.3bn), Poland (USD 8bn) and Slovakia (USD 3.4bn).
Hungary's state fund to allocate EUR 12mn for SMEs in 2013.
Hungary's state-owned Szechenyi Capital Investment Fund plans to invest HUF 3.5bn (EUR 12mn) in local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2013, the fund said in a statement. It has already allocated HUF 1bn since it launched operations in June 2011. The fund's total investments should reach HUF 13bn by end-2015. The money will be lent to enterprises, specialised in traditional producing industries. The list of eligible beneficiaries includes businesses with at least two years of operations, being growth-oriented and employ at least 25 people or aim to achieve this headcount within two years.
Creditors of energy efficiency firm E-Star reject debt restructuring proposal.
Creditors of Hungary's energy efficiency firm E-Star have rejected a company's proposal for a debt settlement, E-Star said in a statement, posted on the Budapest stock exchange's (BSE) website. The creditors did not approve the E-star's proposal on extending the moratorium with further 120 days. The company agreed to amend the settlement proposal in order to reach an agreement with its creditors. It announced in January a plan to implement a 15-year reorganisation program in order to settle debts. E-Star said it would ensure about HUF 9.3bn (EUR 31.6mn) for the purpose and use its entire stock of cash. The firm has been under bankruptcy protection since December 2012.
Net profit of Hungarian drug maker Richter rises 52.6% y/y in Q4 2012.
The net profit of Hungary's major pharmaceutical producer Richter increased by 52.6% y/y to HUF 13.7bn (EUR 46.5mn) in the fourth quarter of 2012, the company said in a consolidated income report published on its website. The positive outcome was due to improvement of company's financial performance, while operating results deteriorated in the period. In particular, Richter posted HUF 0.3bn in net financial gains in Q4 2012, which positively compared to a net financial loss of HUF 3.4bn a year earlier. On the other hand, profit from operations was down by 8.8% y/y to HUF 10.97bn. The decrease could be mainly attributed to a 6.7% y/y drop in revenues, coupled with higher spending on sales (up by 10.4% y/y) and R&D (up by 106.5% y/y).
In cumulative terms, Richter's net profit rose by 3% y/y to HUF 50.8bn in 2012, supported by a 6.1% y/y rise in revenues. In terms of geographical distribution, Richter sales grew fastest on the CIS market, where it registered a 15.7% y/y expansion in full 2012. The EU market followed with a 7.2% y/y sales growth, while sales in the US declined 21.4% y/y. Sales on the domestic market also dropped, by 13.3% y/y.
Hungary's new car registrations down 26% y/y in Jan 2013.
New passenger cars registrations in Hungary declined by 26% y/y to 3,649 vehicles in January 2013, MTI news agency reported, citing data from market researcher Datahouse. The annual decline could be attributed to high base effect, due to the introduction of lower vehicle registration tax as of January 1, 2012. The number of light commercial vehicle registrations fell 26% y/y to 650 units in the month. By contrast, heavy commercial vehicle registrations rose 87% to 297 in January 2013. New passenger car registrations in Hungary increased by 18% y/y to 53,431 in full-2012. Despite the promising growth, the market is still below the pre-crisis levels. It would take 3 to 4 years for the market to fully recover registering annual sales of between 100,000 and 120,000 vehicles.
Cable TV provider UPC Hungary hires 400 contracted sales representatives.
UPC Hungary, the country's leading cable TV provider, has hired 400 customer service representatives that earlier worked on contract, MTI news agency informed. At present, the company employs about 1,300 people. Several hundreds more work for UPC on contract. UPC holds a 26.6% market share of the local television subscriptions as of end-November 2012, data from the communications watchdog showed. As portfolio.hu reported earlier, UPC Hungary is planning to enter the mobile market as mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), using the network of Vodafone. The initial offer will include providing only data transfer services but the option for voice services is also considered.
Retailer Spar to invest EUR 40mn in Hungary in 2013, open 160 new jobs.
Austrian retail chain Spar plans to invest some HUF 11.5bn (EUR 40mn) in its business in Hungary in 2013, MTI news agency reported. The project will enable the creation of more than 160 new jobs. Spar runs some 400 supermarkets in Hungary employing more than 11,000 people. The combined turnover of Spar supermarkets stands at HUF 400bn. Spar's meat processing facility in Bicske, near Budapest, processes 300,000 hogs and 2,000 cattle a year. About 64% of the livestock come from Hungarian farms, but the retailer aims to raise this share to 90% by 2015.
Hungary's nuclear plant Paks posts 5.5% revenue growth in 2012 Hungary's sole nuclear power plant Paks posted HUF 184.2bn (EUR 626.3mn) revenues in 2012, up by 5.5% y/y thanks to higher prices and production, MTI news agency informed. The plant generated a record high of 15,793 GWh of electricity last year, up by 0.7% y/y. Paks accounted for more than 45.9% of the domestic energy production. At the same time, its electricity was sold for HUF 12.28 per kWh, 5.3% more in annual comparison. Hungary's state-owned electricity producer Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM), which operates Paks, plans to call a tender for the expansion of the plant. Hungary wants to build two more nuclear reactors, to be operational between 2020 and 2030. Paks currently runs four Russian VVER-type reactors with a combined capacity of about 2,000MW.
MVM's Slovak unit gets licence for energy supply.
The Slovak energy regulator office has awarded an energy supply licence to MVM Partner, a subsidiary of Hungary's public power utility MVM, Slovak news agency SITA informed. The establishment of a unit in Slovakia is part of the Hungarian company's plan to expand on European market. MVM has also set up similar subsidiaries in other countries in region including Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Romania.
Hungary government plans to lower utility fees by spring 2013.
The Hungarian government plans to cut the tariffs for water and sewerage services and waste collection by 10% in the spring, portfolio.hu reported, citing the head of the parliamentary group of ruling Fidesz party, Antal Rogan, as saying in an interview for daily Magyar Nemzet. The cabinet is also considering a possibility for second reduction of retail electricity, natural gas and district heating tariffs before the next heating season, which starts on October 15. The firs round of reduction took place on January 1 2013, when a 10% cut was introduced. Following the purchase of the local gas business of German power utility E.ON, the Hungarian government aims boost its energy security and to lower prices for households.
Vodafone Hungary subscriber base edges up 0.7% q/q in Q4 2012.
Vodafone Hungary attracted some 19,000 new clients in October to December 2012 expanding its customer base by 0.7% to 2.631 million, its UK parent company, Vodafone, informed in a statement. The share of prepaid card users stood at 49.9% as of end-December. Vodafone Hungary is the country's smallest mobile operator by number of subscribers with a market share of 22.78%, trailing Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile, which has a 45.94% market share, and Norwegian Telenor with 31.27%. Vodafone is also the smallest telecoms operator in terms of mobile internet subscriptions, with a 22.69% market share, after T-Mobile with 47.18% and Telenor with a share of 30.13% at end-2012, data from Hungary's communications watchdog showed.
(c) 2013 Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings LLC Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
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