ČEZ announces drop in production, profits for first quarter

State-controlled power company ČEZ announced a 44 percent drop in first quarter 2014 profits on Tuesday. Continued low electricity prices and weak demand for electricity due to the mild winter resulted in a net profit of just 9.9 billion crowns. ČEZ sees the tough conditions continuing throughout the rest of the year with full year profit expected to come in at 27.5 billion crowns compared with 35.2 billion in 2014. The power giant announced earlier this year that it will not proceed with a tender to expand its Temelín nuclear plant and is under pressure from Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš to pay out all its profits from last year as dividends, a move the company has so far resisted.