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The Warsaw Voice » Business » March 27, 2013
Business & Economy
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In brief
March 27, 2013   
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Billions for Fast Internet
Providing all areas of Poland with access to a fast internet connection by 2020 will cost around zl.30 billion. Half that amount will come from the Polish Investment program and the rest from private sources and European Union funds.

Michał Boni, the administration and digitization minister, says the sale of radio frequencies in the 1800 and 800 MHz band will also contribute to improving access to fast internet services using the mobile LTE standard. At present, the LTE network covers around half the country.

Biedronka Expands
Portuguese group Jeronimo Martins plans to spend zl.1.6 billion to launch another 290 Biedronka stores in Poland and two distribution centers to serve the stores. By 2015 the group aims to have 3,000 stores in Poland. And by the end of this year, Jeronimo Martins, which specializes in budget groceries, plans to hire 5,000 staff throughout the country.

The company is already the largest private employer in Poland. By the end of 2013, the group will have 45,000 people in over 800 locations throughout the country on its payroll.

The two new distribution centers will open this year. They will be located in the eastern town of Lubartów and the coastal city of Gdańsk. The group plans to have 2,400 Biedronka stores in Poland by the end of this year.

Fiat 500 Only in Poland?
The government hopes that Italian car manufacturer Fiat—which has withdrawn production of the Fiat Panda from its Polish plant in Tychy, Silesia province—will now relocate production of the Fiat 500 model to Poland alone.

At present, the Fiat 500 is assembled in Tychy and in Mexico, but there are reports that once a new generation of the model is launched it could be manufactured exclusively in Tychy.

“I hope that this unofficial news about moving [production of] the Fiat 500 to Tychy... will soon be confirmed,” Economy Minister Janusz Piechociński told the Newseria news service.

PGE Plans to Buy Wind Farms
The PGE energy group plans to buy wind farms with a combined capacity of over 600 MW from Danish company Dong Energy, which has decided to focus on designing, building and operating offshore farms. The value of the deal is estimated at zl.1 billion. The transaction may be finalized within a few months. The move needs to be approved by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK).

LOT Losses Smaller Than Expected
Poland’s national air carrier LOT has posted a 2012 operating loss of zl.115 million, two times less than the company’s supervisory board expected, according to Bloomberg Businessweek Polska. Last year, LOT transported almost 5 million passengers, 7 percent more than in 2011. Plane occupancy rates have also increased to 78 percent on European routes and 90 percent on transatlantic flights.
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