Business News in Brief: No more booze runs to Germany?

And looking north, Sweden is increasingly becoming a mecca for bargain lovers

Dansk Supermarked is proposing a new strategy to stop the practice of driving to Germany to stock up on cheap booze and soft drinks, reports Børsen.

According to its chief executive, Per Bank, bargain hunters could instead head to a border-trading zone in southern Denmark that would be exempt from VAT and a number of other taxes.

Move it a couple of km
“It’s trade that currently takes place outside Denmark’s borders, so if you can move it back to Denmark and place a German tax level on it, then that tax revenue would end up in the Danish treasury,” explained Dansk Supermarked press head Mads Grand. “Just by moving everything a couple of kilometres.”

However, the tax minister, Karsten Lauritzen, believes such zones generate “more problems than they solve”.

Swedish krona approaching lowest level for decade
A summer holiday in Sweden is increasingly looking like a good option for Danish tourists, as the Swedish krona is at its lowest level relative to the Danish kroner for almost a decade. On 6 March 2009, 100 krona would have got you only 63.61 kroner. Today it is hovering around the 71 kroner mark. But while it is good news for tourists and Swedes who work in Denmark and are paid in kroner, it’s bad news for Danish exports. Björn Thor Arnarson, a PhD economics student at Lund University, told News Øresund he believes the low currency will convince more Swedes to commute to Denmark to work and more Danes to buy property in Sweden.

Scandinavian banks among worst performers on markets
Swedish and Danish banks are among the worst performers on the Bloomberg index of European Financial Stocks. One of Bloomberg’s resident experts, Philip Richards, told the site it was the result of a “combination of slowing loan growth, years of negative interest rates and intensifying competition that have cast a cloud over their revenue outlook”. The index noted how Danske Bank exceeded its earnings estimates but mostly thanks to cost cuts. “Its capital adequacy was slightly below analyst estimates,” it observed. Meanwhile, Nordea and Swedish enterprise Svenska Handelsbanken, SEB and Swedbank were also singled out as under-performing.

Q1 profit for Novo
Pharma giant Novo Nordisk has posted a 10.8 billion kroner profit on falling revenue of 26.9 billion (down 5 percent) for the first three months of 2018. Novo blamed a fall in sales in the United States along with a weak dollar. Nevertheless, the company’s shares rose 5 percent following the release, giving it a market valuation of 600 billion kroner.

Q1 dip in revenue for Carlsberg
Carlsberg’s turnover dipped from 13.4 to 12.7 billion kroner during the first quarter of 2018 – a fall that was blamed on currency fluctuation. The Russian rouble, for example, has fallen 8.5 percent so far this year. However, chief executive Cees’t Hart remains confident the brewer will confirm a 5 percent rise at the end of 2018. Very few other figures were provided in what was a Q1 trade update, as it has been decided to only release two reports a year: interim and annual.

All hail the 42-hour week
One upshot of the recent threat of industrial action is that public employees will officially be on a 42-hour working week – up five hours following new agreements regarding paid lunch breaks. Previously, public worker lunch breaks were only 30 minutes, thus enabling them to start work at 08:00 and leave the office at 16:00. In the future presumably, they will either have to start 30 minutes earlier or finish 30 minutes later.