PRAGUE May 4 Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav
Sobotka said on Sunday he could not rule out majority
state-owned utility CEZ paying out a bigger portion of
profit in dividends in the future.
The country's most profitable company will continue for now
with a dividend policy of paying out 50-60 percent of net profit
and any change will depend on CEZ's investment plans in the
coming years, Sobotka added.
Central Europe's biggest listed utility, CEZ has proposed
paying shareholders a 40 crown-per-share dividend from 2013
profit, representing a total payout of 61 percent and unchanged
from the year before.
Finance Minister Andrej Babis, whose ministry holds the
state's 70 percent stake in CEZ, has said CEZ could pay out all
of last year's net profit.
CEZ holds its annual shareholders' meeting on June 27.
"As far as I know, CEZ will continue in its long-term
dividend policy this year," Sobotka said on a Sunday talk show
on Czech Television.
"If this policy changes in the coming years after talks with
shareholders, I again expect it will be some long-term view that
CEZ will have in its dividend policy."
CEZ cancelled a tender last month to build two new 1,200 MW
units at its Temelin nuclear power station. The move followed a
sharp fall in European power prices, and the government's denial
of price guarantees had made the $10-15 billion project
After scrapping the tender, CEZ may consider regional
acquisitions, its chief executive has been quoted as saying.
CEZ dividends are an important source of revenue for the
state budget. In February, CEZ forecast net profit before
adjusting for minority interests to fall a fifth straight year
to 27.5 billion crowns in 2014.
(Reporting by Jason Hovet; editing by Andrew Roche)