Early elections in the Czech Republic, scheduled for October 25-26, will likely lead to a victory of Social Democrats (CSSD). As Social Democrats will most likely not gain an absolute majority a coalition will have to be formed. CSSD campaign agenda also includes an increase in the corporate tax and impose a 25-30% corporate rate on large financial, energy and telco companies.
If Telefónica CR is subject to this higher corporate tax rate, the company’s earnings could shrink by some 300-500 mln. CZK. It would, however, have only limited impact on the dividend as part of the shareholders’ remuneration comes from the share premium reduction. Note the higher taxation will only affect the dividend part paid out from the company’s earnings while share premium should remain intact by higher taxation. Although we expect Telefonica will cut its dividend in a 2-year horizon from current 30 CZK/share to 20 CZK/share, only 1-2 CZK per share of this decline would be attributed to higher tax burden.
In case of Komercni higher tax would erode the banks’ earnings by some 1-2 bln. CZK. Komercni’s net profit in 2015 could thus decrease from expected 15-16 bln. CZK to some 13-15 bln. CZK having a negative impact on the dividend in amount of 20-30 CZK/share. Keeping the dividend payout ratio unchanged KB’s dividend may decrease from expected 260 CZK/share to 230-240 CZK/share in 2016.
Should the selective tax be imposed also on utilities, CEZ could pay roughly 2-4 bln. CZK more on taxes assuming CEZ’s earnings will decline to some 30 bln. CZK in 2015. As for dividend, we expect it to gradually come down to some 30 CZK/share (from current 40 CZK/share) in coming years. If the selective tax rate was raised closer to 30% threshold, the dividend could be even cut to 25 CZK/share.
Overall, the potential selective tax could be more negative for CEZ and Komercni, while it should have only limited impact on Telefonica CR.