On Friday, the state enterprise Lesy ČR sent a special levy of CZK 3.81 billion to the Czech National Bank. The company has to adjust its planned investments to this, said the company’s CEO in charge, Jiří Groda. The government decided on Wednesday to transfer the money from the state enterprise to the state budget. According to the government’s decision, state-owned Budvar will also pay CZK 550 million to the state.
Despite the adjustment of investments, the company should continue its significant investments in restoring forests after the bark beetle calamity. “We should continue unchanged, especially in the restoration of forests and the repair of the forest transport network, which will require tens of billions of crowns in the coming years,” Groda said.
Agriculture Minister Zdeněk Nekula (KDU-ČSL) said earlier that withdrawing money from the Czech Forests and the Budvar brewery is necessary to ensure state aid to people significantly affected by the effects of the war in Ukraine—for example, the rise in energy prices. The last time the two companies paid money into the budget was in 2018 when they paid a total of CZK 3 billion.
The money transfer to the budget was made possible by an amendment to the law on state enterprises passed nine years ago. The Agriculture Ministry said that both companies had paid CZK 40 billion since then. Lesy ČR last paid CZK 2.5 billion in 2018, while Budvar paid CZK 500 million in the same year.
Lesy ČR’s profits have risen significantly this year thanks to rising timber prices. In the first half of this year, the company multiplied its gross profit to CZK 4.73 billion from CZK 677 million last year. Revenue rose 56 percent to CZK 9.4 billion from CZK 6.1 billion a year ago.
Budějovice Budvar’s sales of products and services rose 10.8 percent to a record CZK 3.11 billion last year. Profit after tax rose 10.5 percent to CZK 337.1 million.