In the first quarter, the energy group generated a net profit attributable to shareholders of CZK 8.40 billion. The same amount was achieved by adjusted net profit, which is important for the payment of dividends. In both cases, the year-on-year decline was about two-fifths, and the consensus was set in the Reuters survey to better numbers: net profit attributable to shareholders to 11.26 billion and adjusted net profit to 10.86 billion. The group’s quarterly EBITDA fell by 23 percent year on year to 19.9 billion. The outlook for this indicator and for the net profit adjusted by the semi-state energy group was confirmed today. She did not announce the dividend. The Board of Directors will discuss the dividend proposal at its meeting on May 20, in a presentation on the results. The company’s shares fell today on the Prague Stock Exchange by 0.33% to CZK 605.00 per share. But most blue-chip titles ended in red.
“We confirm the full-year outlook for net profit adjusted to CZK 17 to 20 billion, and our cash flow is developing in line with expectations. As a result of the payment of the entire purchase price for Romanian assets, the Group’s net debt decreased by CZK 27.5 billion in Q1. We have already partially used the proceeds from the sale to prepay part of the bond issues denominated in EUR and USD, incl. EUR loan from the EIB in the total value of over CZK 14 billion. We will use the remaining part and funds from other divestments for development investments in the Czech Republic and stable countries, for the redemption of bonds due in October 2021 and for dividends for shareholders, “said Martin Novák, a member of the Board of Directors and Director of the Finance Division.
The group explains the year-on-year decline in EBITDA by temporary market effects of CZK 3.6 billion due to the revaluation of hedging contracts for production supplies, mainly due to the fall in wholesale commodity prices in the first quarter of last year after the covid-19 pandemic spread to Europe. In addition, a record profit from speculative commodity trading helped a year ago. The market expected EBITDA to reach CZK 22.52 billion.
Revenue in the first quarter reached CZK 59.08 billion against a consensus of 58.61 billion in a Reuters survey. The group further stated that for the year 2022 it has sold 30 TWh for 47.3 EUR / MWh and bought 8.7 million tonnes of emission allowances at a price of 23.5 EUR / tonne.
Production of electricity Within the companies that will remain with CEZ even after the completion of divestments in Bulgaria and Poland, it decreased by 4% year-on-year. Of this, production at coal sources decreased by 23%, mainly due to the sale of the Počerady power plant and the shutdown of Unit 1 in Prunéřov. Overall, the share of coal production is less than 33%. Production in emission-free sources increased: production from renewable sources by 17% and production from nuclear sources by 8%. In total, the group produced 15.9 terawatt hours of electricity in the first three months of this year.
Electricity consumption in the distribution area of ČEZ Distribuce, it increased by 4% year-on-year, and in terms of climate and calendar terms it was recalculated by 1.9%. Consumption by large enterprises fell by 2%. On the other hand, household consumption increased by 16%.
In the area of sales for ESCO services stabilized, sales increased by 2% year-on-year and an increase of 8% is expected for the whole year.
The group further stated that the proceeds from the sale Romanian assets reached CZK 24.6 billion. The sale of Bulgarian assets is expected at the end of this quarter. He expects the Polish divestment to submit binding bids this quarter as well. He expects the sale of Polish assets at the turn of 2021 and 2022.
Thanks to the sale of Romanian assets, net debt fell by CZK 27.5 billion. The company used part of the money from the sale to prepay part of the bonds and reiterated that the proceeds from the sale will be used not only to reduce debt but also for development investments in the Czech Republic and stable countries and that the yield will allow a higher dividend for shareholders. “Due to the additional liquidity gained from divestments, we do not anticipate refinancing bonds maturing in October 2021. We anticipate refinancing bonds maturing in 2022 at the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022,” the group also said.
The most important shareholder of the parent company is the Czech Republic with a share in the share capital (as at 31 December 2020) of almost 70%. The shares are traded on the Prague and Warsaw stock exchanges, where they are part of the PX and WIG-CEE stock exchange indices. The company’s shares have risen so far this year by about 18%. They are currently trading at the highest levels since spring 2015.
The Ordinary General Meeting of ČEZ, as will be held on June 28.
Sources: ČEZ, ČTK, Patria.cz