Zurich, 21 April 2009
The eleventh Annual General Meeting of Swisscom Ltd in Zurich was attended by 1,570 shareholders, representing 69% of the voting shares. Registered Swisscom shareholders at the end of March 2009 numbered around 47,500.
Commenting on the past financial year, Anton Scherrer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: "Swisscom held its ground well, but was unable to escape the adverse market conditions. Last year the Swisscom share topped the rankings in the Swiss SMI (Stock Market Index) and was also among the best performers compared to those of other telecoms companies."
Anton Scherrer added: "Following a comprehensive reorganisation, we succeeded in putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. Swisscom also adopted a new visual identity: one that is more dynamic, more emotional and younger. And, above all, Swisscom was successful in further consolidating its market position at home and at Fastweb."
Shareholders approved the 2008 annual report, financial statements and consolidated financial statements and complied with the recommendation of the Board of Directors to set the ordinary dividend at CHF 19 per share (CHF 12.35 net after deduction of withholding tax). This represents a dividend sum of CHF 984 million, or around 40% of operating free cash flow. To facilitate a faster reduction of net debt, Swisscom will forego payment of a special dividend this year and will also not implement a share buy-back programme. The dividend yield - based on the current share price - is around 6 per cent. The net dividend will be paid out to shareholders on 24 April 2009.
The Annual General Meeting also approved a CHF 1.64 million reduction in share capital to CHF 51.80 million, by cancelling the approximately 1.64 million treasury shares acquired under the 2006 share buy-back programme. The members of the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Board were also discharged from liability for the 2008 financial year.
For professional reasons, Fides Baldesberger did not stand for re-election to the Board of Directors and was succeeded by the newly elected Hansueli Loosli. As Chief Executive of Coop, Hansueli Loosli is the perfect addition to the Swisscom Board of Directors, brings a long track record in retailing and industry, and with his market experience, will further enhance the company's customer focus.