CEZ, a.s. (CEZ) has reported operating earnings of CZK181.6 billion for the year-end 2008, up 4.1%, compared with the operating earnings in the previous year-end. It has also reported net profit of CZK47.4 billion for the year-end 2008, up 11%, compared with the net profit in the previous year-end.

The increase was due to the rise in wholesale prices, higher share of power production from nuclear sources, reduction of running costs and results of the CEZ Group´s activities abroad.

The good economic results benefit our shareholders. In the last year, we paid out net dividends at the amount of 18 billion CZK. The state, the major shareholder, has the greatest benefit from CEZ. As well as 13 billion CZK paid out in dividends, the state treasury received taxes, transfer payments for employees and also a lump sum from the sale of a part of shares. In total, the state received 82.2 billion CZK from CEZ.

The CEZ company now concentrates on further increase of efficiency of individual processes in the whole group and in 2009 it will continue in renewing local sources as well as in consolidating and expanding its foreign investments.

In 2008, the project of renewal of local sources started to the full, which will determine the company fruitfulness for decades ahead and into which CEZ has already invested the total of 23.2 billion CZK. Among the major foreign activities there is CEZ involvement in the future construction of a new nuclear power plant in Jaslovske Bohunice in Slovakia, the construction of the Europe’s largest wind farm in Fântânele and Cogealac in Romania with the output of 600 MW and the acquisition of a Turkish distribution company SEDAS in cooperation with a Turkish group Akkok . Projects of joint venture with the MOL group also continued to the plan, further there was the construction of a gas source in Romanian Galati and others (for instance, negotiations were going on about the completion of blocks 3 and 4 in the Romanian nuclear power plant of Cernavoda).

As a result of increased work productivity as well as of realized divestments, the number of the CEZ Group employees further decreased. At the end of 2008 it was 27,110, which means a decrease by 3,000 employees on the previous year, i.e. by 9.9 %.

In 2008, the production of electric power from the CEZ owned sources decreased by 4.4 TWh on the previous year, which is by 6.8%, and it reached the amount of 60.4 TWh.

Optimizing of production in coal-fired sources and the influence of emission limits led to a change in the production structure and to year-to-year decrease of production in coal-fired sources by 13%. This was only slightly compensated for by an increase of production in nuclear sources due to an extended shutdown of the Temelin nuclear power plant in the fourth quarter of 2008.

“In 2009, we are going to concentrate on completing of the launched projects. Henceforward we will carefully select only such projects which bring the highest value for our investors. We concentrate on the area where we have already been operating, that is the Central and South East Europe, and we stop monitoring areas related to our target territory, that is Russia and Ukraine, where we have had no ambitions to become a major player in the market” said Martin Roman, chairman of the board and general director of CEZ.

“Electric power consumption in the Czech Republic at the end of the year is already significantly affected by the influence of the economic situation and its year-to-year growth slowed down to 1.2%. There was an identical growth in the consumption of households and businesses (+2.7%), but the consumption of wholesale customers grew only slightly due to the attenuation of development programs (+0.2%). Since the end of 2008, the growth in demand for electric power in the whole of Europe has been influenced by the financial crisis. Together with the development of prices of crude oil, coal and CO2 permits, it is reflected in electric power prices in all the European markets” stated Michal Skalka, director of CEZ trading department.