15 questions with ČEZ Group

Mar 16, 2015
<p>Quick-fire Q&amp;A with IR professionals</p>

Barbara Seidlová is head of IR at Czech electricity company ČEZ Group, which won the award for best IR in country – Czech Republic at the IR Magazine Awards – Europe 2014.

How long have you been in IR? 

I have been working in ČEZ's IR department since 2007.

Barbara Seidlová, ČEZ Group

Barbara Seidlová, ČEZ Group

What did you do before your current role?

I was a sell-side analyst at ING for eight years, first covering Czech equities and later as part of the emerging Europe telecoms team.

What are your qualifications?

I have a degree in finance from the University of Economics, Prague. I think being on the sell side helped me in understanding what investors and analysts expect from IR.

How is your team set up?

We’re quite small, with only me and a junior colleague working in IR full time. Our financial control department plays an important role during the preparation of annual reports and releases.

Do you receive support from any external IR companies?

No, we only use an external firm to identify our shareholder base.

How many roadshows and conferences do you take part in each year?

We usually attend around 15 conferences and spend between 10 and 15 days on the road.

Do you hold investor days?

Not regularly; we organized one event several years ago.

Do you use social media as part of your IR program?

No. Several surveys I’ve seen suggest it is not a top priority for our audience so we primarily use emails and phone calls.

What is the most popular question from analysts and investors right now?

Our earnings are dependent on the development of power prices and that has always been a top question. More recently we’ve noticed our dividend policy has become a very important topic for investors.

What’s been your biggest challenge over the past year?

Shifting investors’ focus from a declining earnings outlook to one of improving free cash flow.

How would you describe the IR scene in the Czech Republic?

There are 23 companies listed on the Prague Stock Exchange but fewer than 10 actively attend conferences and go on roadshows. There are only three companies with a market cap larger than €1 bn ($1.2 bn) and for which Prague is the primary listing, so it’s no surprise that everyone working in IR here knows each other quite well.

What’s your favorite thing about doing IR?

I like talking to both analysts and investors because they are very smart and I often learn something new from them.

And your least favorite?

I don’t like lunch meetings during roadshows as I usually talk all the time; by the end of the meeting I’ve only managed to have two bites.

What do you enjoy doing outside work?

I like to do sports to clear my head and to compensate for the long hours spent in front of a computer, so I ski in the winter, cycle and hike in summer and also do some rock-climbing.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I hope that in five years’ time I’ll be able to tell investors that ČEZ is a growth stock again.

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