The total profit of the Estonian business sector was 2.0 billion euros (30.9 billion kroons) in 2010, about double the figure for 2009, preliminary data by Statistics Estonia show. The business sector's total profit was smaller by more than a fifth compared to 2008 and by about 40% compared to the all-time high recorded in 2007.
Compared to 2009, profit increased in most economic activities. The profit of manufacturing tripled year on year mainly on the back of exports and manufacturing accounted for about a third of the total profit of the business sector. Crop and animal production as well as education activities ended the year with a loss.
Enterprises sold goods and services for 35.3 billion euros during the year, one-tenth more than a year earlier. The net sales of wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing, which have the biggest share in the gross net sales of the business sector, increased by 6% and 26% respectively. The biggest growth in net sales was reported in forestry and logging, 77%, while the biggest drop took place in construction, which fell 15%.
The business sector's labour productivity, or total productivity divided by the number of persons employed, increased 18%, whereas the average labour cost per person employed stayed on the level of 2009.
Investment activity by enterprises continued to be low. In the 12 months enterprises invested 1.5 billion euros, a quarter less than in 2009. The structure of investments has changed. If in the previous years the biggest investments were made in the construction and alteration of buildings, then in 2010 about a half of total investments were made in other equipment and machinery.
The growth in the net sales of the business sector, which started to increase in the second quarter of 2010, accelerated in the fourth quarter. In the final quarter of the year enterprises' net sales of goods and services totalled 9.7 billion euros, 21% more than in the same period a year ago.
In the second and third quarters the rate of growth was 6% and 15%, respectively. The fourth quarter of 2010 was a turning point also in investing, as the year-on-year reduction in investments that had lasted for nearly two and a half years turned to growth.
Enterprises invested 510 million euros or 8.0 billion kroons during the three months from October to December, one-tenth more than in the same quarter of 2009.
Business Sector's Total Profit Doubles Year-on-Year in 2010