CEZ Sales and Profits Up In 1st Quarter

Czech state-run power group CEZ said Tuesday it had raised both profits and sales in the first quarter on higher power prices and increased output in its two nuclear plants, AFP reported.

Net profits rose by 14 percent against a year ago to 8.3 billion koruna (322 million euros, $362 million) and sales jumped by 12 percent to 51.8 billion koruna, CEZ said in a statement.

CEZ, which has plants in Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey, as well as planning for a wind park in France, is Europe’s ninth largest power utility by customer numbers.

“After years of declines in prices of electricity, our results reflect a growth of power prices on wholesale markets and we managed to raise output by 1.1 terawatt-hours annually,” said chief executive and chairman Daniel Benes.

The company raised output in the Dukovany and Temelin nuclear plants in the southern Czech Republic by seven percent against a year ago to 7.6 terawatt-hours in the first quarter.

Its coal-fired power plants produced 7.4 terawatt-hours of power in the period, roughly the same amount as a year ago.

“We expect to produce 68.8 terawatt-hours in the full year, of which 31.2 terawatt-hours will come from nuclear plants,” said deputy board chairman Martin Novak.

Controlled by the state with a 70.2-percent stake, CEZ has shares listed on stock exchanges in Prague, Warsaw and Frankfurt.