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News roundup - Friday, 27 August

Ljubljana, 27 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 27 August:

More than 540 new cases as 14-day incidence surpasses 200

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported 542 new coronavirus infections for Thursday and a test positivity rate of 18.3%. The 7-day average of confirmed daily cases increased by 30 to 393, while the 14-day incidence per 100,000 population was up to 216, which means Slovenia has entered the red phase according to the European Centre for Disease Control classification. Hospitalisations were up by 12 to 117, with 22 patients requiring intensive care, up by two from yesterday. Two people died of Covid-19.

Luka Koper's H1 revenue, net profit up

KOPER - Port operator Luka Koper generated EUR 114.7 million in net sales revenue in the first six months of the year, which is up 7% compared to the same period last year. Net profit increased by 2% to EUR 15.4 million, and operating profit (EBIT) was up 3% to EUR 17.7 million. Sales revenue was 5% above plan, net profit by 49% and EBIT by 51%, reads the group's unaudited report.

Petrol's net profit more than doubles as sales up 20%

LJUBLJANA - Energy company Petrol saw group net profit jump by 140% to more than EUR 49 million on sales that increased 20% year-on-year to EUR 1.8 billion, according to the company's interim report. Profit before income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 59% compared to the same period of 2020 to EUR 102.1 million, and adjusted gross profit stood at EUR 258.1 million, an increase of 44%.

Three additional hospitals to admit Covid patients

LJUBLJANA - Due to an increase in Covid hospitalisations, the next phase of Slovenia's hospital activation plan will be launched on Monday, meaning another three hospitals will start admitting Covid-19 patients, including in Nova Gorica in the west, Novo Mesto in the east and Murska Sobota in the north-east, Robert Carotta, the national Covid bed coordinator, told the STA. Under the new phase, all Covid hospitals could provide up to 265 beds, including 88 in intensive care.

Two doses of AstraZeneca needed for Covid certificate compliance

LJUBLJANA - The government has amended a decree on temporary measures to reduce risk of infection and the spread of coronavirus infections by changing a Covid certificate requirement for those who have got an AstraZeneca jab. Two doses of the vaccine will be required to heed the vaccinated-recovered-tested rule instead of just one as was the case so far. The decision will become effective on 14 September.

Macedonian troops to become part of Slovenian contingent in Latvia in 2022

OHRID, North Macedonia - Being on a working visit to North Macedonia, Defence Minister Matej Tonin said he and his Macedonian counterpart Radmila Šekerinska finalised their agreement on Macedonian troops becoming part of the Slovenian contingent in the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence mission in Latvia in June 2022. Both Tonin and PM Janez Janša condemned Thursday's Kabul airport suicide attack.

Zorčič strengthening bilateral relations in Serbia

BELGRADE, Serbia - Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič wrapped up a two-day official visit to Serbia during which he met senior Serbian officials. In a statement for the STA, he described relations between Slovenia and Serbia as very good in all fields of cooperation - from business to culture and politics. "We've touched on numerous issues concerning bilateral cooperation but also regional and global issues, such as Afghanistan," he said. Zorčič met Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, PM Ana Brnabić and FM Nikola Selaković today.

PM Janša discusses Afghanistan situation with US senators

LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša met a delegation of US senators visiting Slovenia on the occasion of Slovenian-American Friendship Day. The officials talked about current international issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, and US-Slovenia relations, Janša's office said. Janša and Republican senators Richard Shelby, Mike Crapo, John Cornyn, Deb Fischer, John Kennedy and Roger Marshall also discussed the priorities of the Slovenian EU presidency, the pandemic, economic recovery and EU enlargement to the Western Balkans.

Govt and Ljubljana expand cooperation agreement

LJUBLJANA - A cooperation agreement between the government and the Ljubljana municipality which was signed in May has been expanded by additional projects. Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković and Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik signed the amendments, which feature 21 projects of the 2020-2023 period from fields covered by the government secretariat and five ministries.

NLB bank has serious plans for Serbian market, says Serbian minister

BELGRADE, Serbia - The NLB group has serious plans for the Serbian market, said Serbia's Finance Minister Siniša Mali after meeting NLB CEO Blaž Brodnjak, the Serbian Press Agency Tanjug reported. "I'm glad that NLB confirmed today that it has serious plans for the Serbian market. I believe this will allow the bank to be even more successful and help its staff and clients, including both citizens and companies," Mali said.

Unior returns to profit in H1, revenue up by almost 32%

ZREČE - Unior, a Zreče-based group specialising in forged metals and tools, generated EUR 122.1 million in net sales revenue in the first half of the year, up 31.8% year-on-year. Net profit stood at EUR 6.4 million, with the group bouncing back from a 2.7 million loss in the same period in 2020. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to EUR 15 million, 68% more year-on-year.

Jobless total decreases by a fifth in second quarter

LJUBLJANA - The jobless total in Slovenia stood at 44,000 in the second quarter of the year according to the labour force survey, down 20% compared to the quarter before, the Statistics Office said. The survey unemployment rate was 1.3 percentage points lower at 4.3%. The labour force participation rate was 2.9 points higher compared to the first quarter to stand at 56.1%.

Mura relegated to Conference League

GRAZ, Austria - Slovenian football champions Mura have been relegated to the Conference League after a 2:0 loss against Sturm Graz in the final round of qualifying for the Europa League on Thursday. The result was 5:1 on aggregate.

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