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The net profit of energy company ČEZ in the first quarter of this year fell by 60 percent year-on-year to 10.8 billion crowns. Operating revenues, on the other hand, rose by roughly 23 percent to 93.4 billion. She also announced that the CEZ board proposes to pay a record dividend of 117 crowns per share from last year’s profit. The general meeting on June 26 will decide on it. Shareholders would receive about 63 billion if the dividend proposal is approved.
One of the reasons for this year’s significant drop in profit and the reason for the payment of a high dividend was last year’s record profits of ČEZ, when the net profit reached 78.4 billion. “The proposal (dividend) corresponds to the payment of 80 percent of the achieved consolidated profit of the ČEZ Group for the year 2022, adjusted for extraordinary effects, thus the upper limit of the applicable dividend policy of the company,” said the chairman of the board and CEO of ČEZ Daniel Beneš.
The previous highest dividends were only around 50 crowns per share. In 2009, when ČEZ’s highest dividend so far was approved, the company paid out 28.3 billion crowns to shareholders. The proposed dividend payment is thus more than doubled. “With regard to the extraordinary taxation of sales and profits of energy companies, we assume that the ČEZ group will pay more than 100 billion crowns to the Czech state this year in dividends, income taxes and levies on production sales,” added Beneš.
According to ČEZ, in addition to the high comparative base from last year, extraordinary taxation was behind the drop in profits in the first quarter of this year. Last year, the government introduced a tax on windfall profits and extraordinary levies on excessive sales to cover the costs of measures related to the sharp rise in energy prices.
“The costs of levies from excessive production sales exceeded ten billion crowns and the tax on unexpected profits amounted to nine billion crowns. For the whole year 2023, we expect levies from these extraordinary measures in the amount of 30 to 40 billion,” said ČEZ board member and director of the company’s financial division Martin Novak.
In view of the drop in market prices of electricity, ČEZ adjusted its business outlook for this year. He expects operating profit before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the range of 105 to 115 billion crowns and net profit after extraordinary effects of 33 to 37 billion.
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