Polish Business Survey

Alan Heath
opublikowano: 29-06-2000, 00:00

Polish Business Survey

Bad news for e-commerce

Ratings agency GfK Polonia has found that in its opinion Onet and Wirtualna Polska are the most popular portals in Poland. They also discovered that less than five percent of Internet users in Poland have ever bought anything over the net.

Duty free Oder

Last week Polish businessman Aleksander Gawronik filed a request with municipal authorities in Kostrzyn nad Odrą to link that town with Słubice and Frankfurt Oder by ship. One of the attractions would be duty free shops.

Krzysztof Prętnicki, deputy mayor of Kostrzyn said that first the Poznań based businessman must get a permit from the Ministry of the Interior to run this type of business.

Municipal authorities are very keen on the idea as they would be able to rent mooring facilities along the Warta river which were completed last year although local traders are not too happy. As they must pay excise duty and VAT they would clearly lose clients.

There are already boats sailing the Oder with duty free products, one of which does not charge for the journey in order to attract clients.

Whereas any ship leaving Polish territorial waters can sell duty free products, theoretically those products are for personal use only and may be bought up to a given limit maximum twice per month. However as passports are not stamped this will be difficult to verify.

It is however possible that the law could change to that of the New York Convention which allows duty free goods to be purchased only by people who stay out of the country for at least 24 hours. This would effectively kill off this type of business on the Oder.

Too much meat in the industry

Meat industry analysts have found that there is sector over-employment by up to forty percent in certain companies. With each job loss saving around PLN30,000 annually, major savings could be made. It is estimated that ten percent of companies in the meat industry could make savings of PLN3m - PLN5m annually, Nonetheless there are companies in the sector who have already restructured such as Farm Food.

Maspex buys Anin

Wadowice based Maspex, producer of fruit juices such as Kubuś, instant ÔcappuccinoŐ and fruit teas has bought an 80 percent share in competitor Anin. Anin, which is based in Skoczów near Bielsko-Biała, is the largest coffee creamer producer in Poland. This is the second time this year that Maspex has bought out a competitor.

Netia to get concession

The Communications Ministry has confirmed that Netia will receive a concession for Warsaw. The deadline for receipt is 30 June.

Advent wants a slice of BillBird.pl

American venture capital investment fund Advent is negotiating with the Internet Investment Fund to get a share of BillBird.pl. IIF is the first Polish Internet incubator. If all goes as Advent plans they will be investing around PLN22m in the scheme.

Częstochowa mill scales down

The Częstochowa steel mill has announced plans to reduce employment by 4,000 and split off daughter companies. The State owned company is trying to find a strategic investor and MD, Lech Skrzypczyk, claims that there is one Polish and several foreign companies interested. Shares in the company may well be issued, some of them will find their way into the hands of the millŐs creditors. The largest group of creditors are those that supplied raw materials such as CZH and Węglozbyt. Current debts run into hundreds of millions of złoty.

Skrzypczyk thinks that the steel industry is pulling out of its slump and that restructuring coupled with better prices will go a long way to turning the plant around. In May 1999 sales were PLN60m, this year they were PLN96m. In total, in the first five months of this year takings were PLN431m. Last year sales were PLN848m with a PLN182m loss. Export remains a major hope and Lech Skrzypczyk thinks that by the end of the year 25 percent of production will be for foreign buyers.

Okocim invests in production

Brewers Okocim have announced a PLN300m investment programme which within one year will increase annual production from 160m litres to 230m litres.

Złotówka.pl enters Ahoj.pl

The financial service Złotówka.pl will become part of the recently arrived Ahoj.pl portal and will change its name from Pieniądze to Złotówka.

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Podpis: Alan Heath

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