William Malcolm

CEZ Will Pay A Larger Dividend Than Last Year At CZK 52

The ČEZ energy company will pay shareholders a dividend of CZK 52 per share before tax from last year’s profit. Today, the general meeting of the company decided. The higher dividend was approved by ČEZ shareholders only in 2010 from the profit of 2009, namely CZK 53 per share. According to the company, the dividend reflects the sale of Romanian assets. CEZ CFO Martin Novak said today that the sale of Romanian assets contributed CZK 9.50 per share before tax. 28 billion crowns will be distributed among the shareholders, and the state, as the majority shareholder, will receive about 20 billion crowns. The proposal was submitted by the ČEZ Board of Directors.

Last year, ČEZ paid a dividend of 34 crowns per share before tax from the previous year’s profit. CEZ owns 70 percent of the state through the Ministry of Finance, the rest is held by private shareholders. The majority of the dividend paid is thus directed to the state; voting at the ČEZ General Meeting generally ends at the request of the Ministry of Finance. Last year, CZK 18.3 billion was distributed among all shareholders from ČEZ’s adjusted previous year’s profit, and the state, as the majority shareholder, received approximately CZK 12.8 billion.

Last year, CEZ’s net profit fell year-on-year from the previous year’s CZK 14.5 billion to CZK 5.5 billion, ie by 62 percent. According to the company, the decline was due to higher provisions due to the sale of Romanian assets, deteriorating conditions for coal energy and higher emission allowances. After adjusting for extraordinary non-monetary effects, however, net profit increased by 21 percent to 22.8 billion crowns. It is from the adjusted profit that the dividend is paid. The group’s revenues increased by four percent year-on-year to 213.7 billion crowns, which is the highest since 2013.

CEZ shareholders, on the other hand, did not approve the nomination of former Minister of Transport Dan Ťok to the company’s supervisory board today. The proposal for his nomination was confirmed by information on nominations for management and supervisory companies with state ownership on the websiteMinistry of Finance, Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová (ANO), however, said on Czech Television on Sunday that, as Minister, she should issue a decisive instruction to the election and will not issue it in the case of Ťok. In the Supervisory Board no other changes have taken place.

As last year, the General Meeting was accompanied by strict security measures due to the risk of spreading coronavirus. CEZ also took measures to reduce the length of contributions from individual speakers. Even before entering the Prague Congress Center, where the General Meeting was held, the security service patrolled. It included mandatory hand disinfection and temperature measurement. Before entering the hall, the participants underwent an examination at the X-ray frame. They had to go through it every time they went to refresh themselves in a nearby hall. The first point on the information boards was the emphasized obligation for all participants to have respirators on throughout the meeting.

The General Meeting of ČEZ Energy also dragged on this year, with the first three points out of nine taking more than eight hours. Michal Šnobr, a minority shareholder, and critic of the company’s current management and advisor to the J&T investment group asked the most questions. He argued that the shareholders’ meeting was delayed by the board of directors, which he said took disproportionately long breaks for answers. CEZ responded by wanting to provide shareholders with relevant answers, some of which require time. Šnobr and some other shareholders left the General Meeting after nine hours, which significantly reduced the number of inquiries, and the discussion of the General Meeting’s items accelerated. The general meeting ended after about ten hours.