CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Czech CEZ net profit falls, flags risks to outlook

Tue May 13, 2014 3:49am EDT

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(Corrects percentage fall in revenue in final paragraph)

* Net profit CZK 9.91 bln vs CZK 10.93 bln in poll

* Confirms outlook but says impairments not included

* CEZ feeling strain of weaker power prices

* Cuts domestic electricity production outlook

PRAGUE, May 13 (Reuters) - Central Europe's largest listed utility CEZ reported a 44 percent drop in first-quarter net profit, hit by lower electricity prices, and flagged new risks to its full-year outlook.

The Czech electricity producer on Tuesday said profit fell to 9.91 billion crowns ($497.43 million) from 17.81 billion a year earlier when one-off items lifted results.

That was below the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts for attributable net profit of 10.93 billion crowns.

CEZ shares fell 1.8 percent in early trading.

The utility, like European peers, is feeling the strain of wholesale electricity prices that have fallen by more than half in the five years since the global economic crisis

The majority state-owned company also cut its domestic production outlook and added risks to its profit outlook.

It expects net profit before adjusting for minority interests to fall for a fifth straight year to 27.5 billion in 2014, just above half of the record 51.9 billion crown profit it posted in 2009.

But the company said in a presentation accompanying results that the outlook did not take into account impairments of assets whose impact "cannot be quantified at the moment".

"The impact will reflect development of European regulation and of the energy market, as well as internal measures of CEZ group in 2014," it said.

CEZ took 8.4 billion crowns in impairment charges in the last half of 2013.

It said another risk was a delay in the completion of a renewal and construction of coal-fired plants.

CEZ cut its domestic electricity output forecast to 60.9 TWh from 62.2 TWh.

The company said it had pre-sold 77 percent of its planned 2015 output at an average price of 40.5 euros per MWh.

First-quarter revenue fell 11 percent to 53.16 billion crowns.

($1 = 19.9225 Czech Crowns) (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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