Its always a privilege to attend Annual General Meetings of Lusaka Securities and Exchange listed companies and one special on is the energy sectors only listed company on the local exchange: CEC Plc.
Copperbelt Energy Corporation (aptly known as CEC Plc), held its 25th Annual General meeting on Thursday the 27th April 2023. The meeting began with a brief recap of the previous years’ performance.
According to the Managing Director Owen Silavwe, CEC celebrated 25 years in November 2022. This milestone has delighted the corporate management and board as it is testament to company’s significance in the development of Zambian industry.
Regarding the financial performance, 2022 was a good year for the company. There was profitability of USD 50.8 million which was a general improvement from the year prior despite the impairment losses of 24.1 million dollars (2021: USD12.6 million), according to the Chief Financial Officer Mutale Mukuka.
The company paid out dividends of USD50.4 Million(2021: USD37 million) which is the largest the company has paid out to date. Regarding Turnover, there was an increase in revenue from the growth in power flows through the companies network from all business lines, led by regional power sales which increased by USD12.3 million. There was increased revenue of 9% which was USD374 million(2021: USD 342 million). Furthermore, the company also recorded an EBITDA of USD93 million (2021: USD94 million) and a profit after tax of USD51 million (2021: USD51 million).
Commenting on the power situation in Zambia, it was noted that Kariba power station experienced reduced water levels. According to the Managing Director, these are the lowest levels that have been recorded in years which led to the shortest-lived load curtailment program witnessed in 2022. Equilibrium has currently been restored as supply and demand are being matched for Zambaa.
Regionally there is still a threat to the power balance as the supply side has continued facing challenges especially with the situation in South Africa. The Chief Executive reaffirmed CEC’s commitment to continue to actively participate in processes and collaborating with other sector players to ensure equitable outcomes as market re-design and open access work is in progress with the expectation that the work will be iterative, seeking to incorporate lessons from other countries as well as Zambia is specific situation.
Looking forward, the company’s priorities for 2023 will be concerned with efficiently delivering safe, reliable and affordable power through continued upgrading, modernizing and investing in new transmission as well as distribution infrastructure to its customer base.
Placing sustainability at the center of the company as operations entails that Environmental Social Governance is a regular conversation and engagement with the company’s stakeholders. Further funding for more renewable energy products will be unlocked through commissioning the Itimpi Solar Project and concluding the related refinancing process. In order to reliably and affordably meet the growing demand, the company will focus on initiatives aimed at strengthening its supply portfolio. And lastly finding a solution to unlocking the long outstanding KCM debt, and ensuring that appropriate agreements are put in place to underpin service provision remains a priority for the business.