State to Receive Higher Dividend from ČEZ

Petr Horník

This year, the state budget could receive more than 44 billion from the dividend of the company ČEZ, in which it owns a 70 percent share, according to the proposal put forward by the company. Czech Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura (ODS) told Czech Television this on Tuesday.

“First, the proposal will be prepared by the company’s management. I do not exclude the possibility that last year’s scenario could be repeated when I, as a government member, proposed a higher dividend payout, which was subsequently approved by the general meeting,” Stanjura said. His proposal was also supported by Minister for Regional Development Ivan Bartoš (Pirates).

According to the Ministry of Finance spokesman, Tomáš Weisse, the office typically waits for the proposal of the dividend amount from the ČEZ management. Then it considers the possibility of submitting a counter-proposal. “We cannot comment on the intentions of our shareholders; it is their business,” said ČEZ spokesman Ladislav Kříž.

Recently, CEO Daniel Beneš announced that thanks to a record profit exceeding 80 billion crowns, ČEZ could send a dividend of 44 billion crowns to the state budget.

The dividend payout ratio of ČEZ currently ranges from 60 to 80 percent of the clean net profit, which reached 78.4 billion crowns last year. In the case of an 80 percent payout of pure net profit, the value of the dividend per share would be 117 crowns. Last year, the company paid out 48 crowns per share before tax.

According to Česká spořitelna, the ČEZ management proposed an 80 percent dividend payout ratio last year, but the Ministry of Finance increased it to a 100 percent ratio. If such an increase were to occur again, it would correspond to a dividend of 146 crowns per share.

Beneš said ČEZ should pay the state more than 100 billion crowns this year. In addition to the dividend, this would include up to 40 billion crowns for the tax on extraordinary profits and excess revenues and up to 30 billion crowns in regular taxes.