Annual General Meeting: Fresenius remains on course for growth despite ongoing burdens; 29th consecutive dividend increase approved(PresseBox) (Bad Homburg, )
Sturm said the company’s growth strategy, first set out last year and recently defined in more detail, will make a major contribution here. It includes a company-wide cost-cutting and efficiency program, the accessing of new sources of capital, and prioritizing the distribution of capital among the business segments. “We see continued excellent growth opportunities for all four business segments. Our decisions will enable the accelerated growth of each individual business segment, and thereby also accelerate growth for the entire Group,“ Sturm said. “We want to move Fresenius ahead at speed. And we want a measured and well-managed transformation of our company. Fresenius remains a diversified healthcare group, with a sharper profile, active in wide-ranging and very exciting areas of medicine.”
In his speech, Sturm sharply condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine: “As a healthcare company, Fresenius fights to save lives: Putin’s army fights to destroy an entire country, with a contempt for people and a brutality that appalls me.” At the same time, the Fresenius CEO explained why the company is not pulling out of Russia: “Because that is also part of our responsibility as a healthcare company. Many of our products and services are essential for life. Our patients depend on them – also in Russia. We cannot simply refuse them life-saving treatments and coldly stand aside and let them die.” Sturm stressed that Fresenius is not making any money in Russia and will not in the foreseeable future, and has put all investments in the country on ice.
Shareholders approved with a large majority of 99.87 percent the 29th consecutive dividend increase proposed by the General Partner and the Supervisory Board. The dividend was raised by 5 percent, to €0.92 per share.
Fresenius is offering a scrip dividend for the first time, thereby giving shareholders the option to receive their dividend (except for the tax portion of the dividend) in the form of new Fresenius shares. The Else Kröner-Fresenius-Foundation has informed Fresenius that it intends to fully participate in the scrip dividend.
The Annual General Meeting elected Susanne Zeidler and Dr. Christoph Zindel to the Supervisory Board of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA with large majorities. The new elections were made necessary by the departures of Hauke Stars and Klaus-Peter Müller.
The shareholders also approved with a large majority, of 90.47 percent, the Compensation Report for the 2021 business year.
With a majority of 89.09 percent, the shareholders approved a new Authorized Capital I in the amount of €125 million. New authorizations to issue convertible bonds, to repurchase own shares, and to use equity derivatives for repurchasing own shares were also approved.
Shareholder majorities of 99.02 and 92.57 percent, respectively, approved the actions of the Management and Supervisory Boards in 2021.
At the Annual General Meeting of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA, 73.08 percent of the subscribed capital was represented. Due to the pandemic, the meeting was held exclusively over the Internet in order to protect the health of all participants.
This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Future results could differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to certain factors, e.g. changes in business, economic and competitive conditions, regulatory reforms, results of clinical trials, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, uncertainties in litigation or investigative proceedings, the availability of financing and unforeseen impacts of international conflicts. Fresenius does not undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this release.