ČEZ’s income down by 40 percent in half year report
Czech energy giant ČEZ announced its operating revenues in the first half of 2014 year-on-year in an online press release earlier today. According to ČEZ, the group’s net income was 17.2 billion crowns, 40 percent lower than last year. ČEZ blames the warm and dry winter along with low electricity prices and plans to raise earnings by cuts in fixed costs and expanding its business into new areas.
According to ČEZ, whose half year loss is another continuation of an uninterrupted five year long slump in annual revenues since the conglomerate peaked in 2009, lower profits are mainly the result of worsening conditions in the energy business - the sinking of wholesale energy prices being one of the causes behind this.
Analysts see further reasons responsible for ČEZ’s low profits this year. Namely the sale of one of the conglomerate’s power stations in Chvaletice towards the end of last year and the smaller allocation of green certificates in Romania, which was part of the country’s austerity cuts on renewable energy sources.
The energy giant plans to slash up to 16 percent of utility costs in the next two years and has announced in the past that these cuts will include letting go some of its staff. Another area which ČEZ wants to focus on aside from cuts in fixed costs is expanding its business opportunities. According to a press release earlier on Tuesday by the conglomerate’s spokesman Ladislav Kříž, this includes improving the performance of ČEZ facilities, strengthening its position in alternative gas supply and venturing into services such as telecommunications. The group’s recent project in the area, ČEZ Mobil – a mobile network provider founded in October 2013, targets clients and family households. So far it has attracted 74,000 customers in the Czech Republic.