CEZ's 2022 profit surge lines up record dividend

·2-min read
Czech electricity producer CEZ's logo is seen next to an electricity pylon in front of the Ledvice coal-fired power plant near the village of Ledvice

PRAGUE (Reuters) -Czech utility CEZ expects to pay a record dividend on the back of soaring full-year profit before new taxes and levies dent earnings this year.

CEZ on Tuesday posted a record 78.4 billion crown ($3.50 billion) adjusted net profit for last year, a more than threefold rise over 2021, as energy markets jumped after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Moscow cut gas supplies.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) doubled to 131.6 billion crowns, boosted also by commodity trading and record nuclear power production.

"The achieved profit for 2022 indicates a record dividend for shareholders," Chief Executive Daniel Benes said.

CEZ has a policy of paying out 60-80% of adjusted profit, which it said indicated a 117 crown per share dividend at the upper end, compared with a 48 crown payout in 2021.

Komercni Banka analysts said the payout could be as high as 100% of adjusted profit, making for a dividend of 146 crowns.


Shares in CEZ 1.3% at 1,048 crowns at midday. Though down from a 14-year high of 1,229 crowns last summer, the shares are up more than 20% over the past year.

The company, 70% owned by the Czech government, faces a new tax on windfall profits and levies on generation this year as the government seeks to help households and businesses hit by rising energy costs.

It forecasts 2023 adjusted profit of between 30 billion and 40 billion crowns and EBITDA of 105 billion to 125 billion crowns.

It said a windfall tax would cut earnings by up to 25 billion crowns in 2023 and that some of the last year's trading earnings would not be repeated.

The company also said it would remain cautious in hedging its future production.

CEZ has pre-sold 35.9 terawatt hours (TWh) of its 2023 output at an average price of 117 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) and 21.2 TWh of 2024 generation at 120 euros per MWh.

($1 = 22.3990 Czech crowns)

(Reporting by Jason Hovet and Robert MullerEditing by Mark Potter and David Goodman)