FACTS AND FIGURES
source: STA, Slovenian Press Agency
Slovenia Gains One Spot in IMD Rankings After losing 20 spots in 2010, Slovenia has gained one place in this year’s competitiveness rankings from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). Slovenia is now in 51st place out of 59 in the rankings detailed in the Swiss institute’s World Competitiveness Yearbook for 2011. The country lost one place in the economic performance category to rank 43rd, preserved 53rd place in government efficiency, was up one spot to 56th in business efficiency, and climbed three spots in infrastructure to 31st place. The director of Slovenia’s Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments (JAPTI), Igor Plestanjak, highlights that the ranking means Slovenia did not regress compared to last year, but has added that a detailed analysis of the results is necessary. It is notable that Slovenia has not reduced the gap to comparable new EU members, such as the Czech Republic and Estonia, highlighting business and government efficiency as the most problematic areas.
The IMD divided its recommendations for improving competitiveness into four groups: measures securing more flexibility on the labour market, public tenders, simpler administrative procedures, and an improved national innovation system. The proposals include simpler procedures for laying off workers, a more flexible wage policy, an overhaul of regulated professions, the introduction of a cap on social contributions, protections for subcontractors in public tenders, simpler construction permit procedures, and more effective investment in research and development. Development and European Affairs Minister Mitja Gaspari says the report is a warning to Slovenia that it should move beyond debates about pension reform and social transfers to also discuss competitiveness. Economy Minister Darja Radić was more cautious. She argues that the competitiveness of the economy did not depend only on the government but also on the managers themselves. She also dismisses the results on innovation, saying that
Slovenia has done a lot in this field and that the measurements were too subjective and based on the views of managers, who were repeating old mantras. The countries trailing Slovenia were South Africa, Jordan, Argentina, Bulgaria, Greece, Ukraine, Croatia, and Venezuela. Greece lost 10 spots. Topping the IMD’s rankings this year are HongKong together with the US, followed by Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Canada, Qatar, Australia and Germany. The US was third, losing the top spot for the first time in decades.
Tabloid Still BestSelling Daily
Pivovarna Laško Posts Profit
Mercator Group Boosts Revenues
Prices of Flats Level
The Slovenia Times
Photo: PL archive
Slovenske novice remains the most popular Slovenian daily newspaper according to new data released by the Slovenian Advertising Chamber. The tabloid, which sold most copies in the first quarter of 2011, was followed by broadsheets Delo and Dnevnik. The best selling weekly paper was Nedeljski dnevnik, followed by Delo’s Sunday edition Nedelo and women’s tabloid Lady. TV guide Vikend was the most popular supplement, followed by Pilot and Ona. The most popular free newspapers remain the weekly Zurnal and the daily Zurnal24.
The group around brewer Pivovarna Laško has recorded a dramatically increased operating profit in the first quarter of 2011. The group generated more than EUR 6m, a leap from the EUR 1.6m generated in the same period last year. Sales revenues also increased, by about ten percent, to EUR 66.3m. The group recorded EUR 11.5m in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), a 41.1 percent increase over the same period in 2010. The core company Pivovarna Laško generated EUR 2.6m in net profit, up 20 percent over the same period last year, which is 12 percent more than planned.
The Mercator group has posted EUR 676m in revenues in the first quarter of 2011, up six percent year-on-year. Net profit stood at EUR 10.18m, slightly above projections. In the first three months of this year, the group spent EUR 47.4m on investments or 38.1 percent of the annual investment plan. In other developments, the company’s management and supervisory board have proposed a dividend of EUR 8 gross per share for 2010. If this is confirmed at the shareholders’ meeting scheduled for 22 June, the company will give over EUR 30m for dividends on over EUR 40m in distributable profit.
The average price of existing apartments in Slovenia has remained flat for the fifth quarter in a row. No increase in prices was recorded in the first three months of 2011. The average price per square metre stood at EUR 1.745, with Ljubljana and the coast having the most expensive apartments, with prices exceeding EUR 2,500 per square metre. Apartment prices in the capital did grow, by one percent over the previous quarter and three percent yearon-year. Prices increased in Koper too, by eleven percent over the previous quarter, but sales remained low. The number of flats and houses sold decreased by 26 percent and 40 percent respectively over the last quarter of 2010, according to the Surveying and Mapping Authority.
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