Hungary Trends – The week in business and finance in Hungary
Budapest (MTI) – See below MTI’s main business and financial news from the previous week:
HIGHER REVENUE, LOWER RISK AND TAX COSTS LIFT OTP Q1 PROFIT 54 PC
OTP Bank‘s first-quarter consolidated after-tax profit rose by an annual 54 percent to 52.9 billion forints (EUR 170m), lifted by higher revenue, lower risk costs and a cut in the corporate tax rate, an earnings report showed. In spite of the low interest rate environment, OTP’s net interest income edged up by 2 percent to 132.2 billion forints. Net revenue from commissions and fees increased by 15 percent to 44.5 billion forints. Risk costs dropped by 40 percent to 12.5 billion forints, and a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 19 percent to 9 percent from the start of the year cut OTP’s corporate taxes by 42 percent to 9.4 billion forints.
RICHTER Q1 PROFIT CLIMBS 71 PC ON HIGHER REVENUE, FINANCIAL INCOME
Hungarian drugmaker Gedeon Richter’s first-quarter net income rose by an annual 71 percent to 19.8 billion forints, lifted by higher revenue, financial income and a tax refund, an earnings report showed. Revenue increased by 26 percent to 112.7 billion forints. Direct cost of sales rose at a faster rate, climbing by 41 percent to 50.6 billion forints, but sales and marketing costs, administration expenses and spending on R+D increased at a more moderate pace.
MTEL Q1 PROFIT DROPS ALMOST 55 PC ON NARROWER MARGINS, ONE-OFFS
Magyar Telekom’s first-quarter after-tax profit fell by 54.6 percent year-on-year to 4.8 billion forints on narrower margins, and one-offs in the base period, an earnings report showed. The consolidated profit and loss statement, which excludes Crnogorski Telekom, MTel’s Montenegrin unit sold to Hrvatski Telekom in January, showed revenue rose by 1.6 percent to 140.5 billion forints. Direct cost of sales outpaced that increase, climbing 6.5 percent to 52.9 billion forints, and gross profit dropped by 1.2 percent to 87.6 billion forints.
BILL WOULD RESTRICT INFOCOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES’ USE OF “LOYALTY CONTRACTS”
MPs of governing Fidesz submitted a bill to parliament that would limit the terms of “loyalty contracts” infocommunications companies offer to one year and allow subscribers who have such contracts to cancel them, without penalty, if the service provider unilaterally changes the contract to the disadvantage of the subscriber.
SCHAEFFLER STARTS EUR 80 M EXPANSION IN HUNGARY
The Hungarian ball bearing unit of Germany’s Schaeffler laid the cornerstone of an 80 million euro plant at its base in Debrecen (E Hungary). The unit, FAG Magyarország, is getting a 4.5 billion forint government grant for the investment which will create 500 jobs.
HUNGARY CONSTRUCTION SECTOR OUTPUT JUMPS ONE-THIRD IN MARCH
Output of Hungary’s construction sector rose by an annual 33.3 percent in March, climbing at the fastest rate in years, data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) showed. KSH noted that the jump came on a low base. In the base period, output plunged 34.6 percent year-on-year. Output of the building segment was up by 30.2 percent during the period. Output of the civil engineering segment soared 48.8 percent.
HUNGARY CPI 2.2 PC IN APRIL
Consumer prices in Hungary rose 2.2 percent year-on-year in April, slowing from a 2.7 percent increase in the previous month, data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) showed. The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) said prices of items with greater sensitivity to cost changes, such as food and energy, had lifted April CPI.
EC RAISES GDP GROWTH FORECASTS FOR HUNGARY
The European Commission raised its projections for GDP growth in Hungary to 3.6 percent for this year and 3.5 percent next year in a fresh forecast. The projections for 2017 and 2018 were raised from 3.5 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, in the EC’s winter economic forecast, released in February.
HUF 20 BN NOKIA SKYPARK INAUGURATED IN BUDAPEST
The more than 20 billion forint Nokia Skypark office building, the home to a big IT and telecom R+D centre, was inaugurated in Budapest’s rehabilitated Corvin Quarter on Tuesday. Nokia Solutions and Network Kft earlier signed a ten-year lease on the building, with an extension option. Nokia Solutions and Networks employs about 2,100 people in Hungary. About 2,000 of them work at Nokia Skypark. Read more HERE!
RISE IN HOME PRICES STILL “SUSTAINABLE” – NBH
The increase in home prices across Hungary is still “sustainable”, though the market in Budapest needs to be “monitored closely”, the National Bank of Hungary said in a biannual Housing Market Report. The NBH noted that home prices rose by 15.4 percent for the whole country last year, but were up by 22.5 percent in Budapest. The central bank added that it expects home price appreciation to slow to 12.3 percent for the whole country in the first half of 2017.