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REFILE-UPDATE 1-Profits jump at Polish utility PGE, doubles dividend
March 14, 2012 / 8:23 AM / 6 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Profits jump at Polish utility PGE, doubles dividend

(Adds dropped word ‘but’ in second paragraph)

* 2011 net up 39 pct to 4.9 bln zlotys vs. 4.8 bln polled

* Says hardcoal prices could grow up to 15 pct in 2012

WARSAW, March 14 (Reuters) - Polish state-controlled power generator PGE reported a 39 percent rise in net profits on Wednesday and more than doubled the dividend payout thanks to one-off gains but warned of rising coal prices this year.

The company raised the dividend to 1.32 zlotys a share from 0.65 zlotys last time but cautioned that domestic coal prices would grow by as much as 15 percent this year, which could eat into its profits.

“Such growth would have a negative impact on PGE’s margins in generation,” said Stanislaw Ozga, an analyst at DM PKO BP.

PGE, whose power output rose by 7 percent last year to 57 terawatt hours, produces around two thirds of its power by burning lignite from its own mines, while hardcoal - which it buys in, represents over a quarter of its fuel mix.

The group, which recently appointed a new chief executive as part of a management reshuffle at several state companies, said it earned a record 4.9 billion zlotys last year, in large part thanks to a 1.7 billion profit from the sale of its stake in cellphone operator Polkomtel.

Analysts expected a net profit of 4.8 billion zlotys.

At 0802 GMT shares in PGE were up 0.8 percent, while Warsaw’s main market index WIG20 was up 0.9 percent. PGE’s share price is down 7 percent this year, in line with the WIG20’s move. ($1=3.1390 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Maciej Onoszko; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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