Zurich, 27 April 2010
The 12th Annual General Meeting of Swisscom Ltd in Zurich was attended by 1,620 shareholders, representing 70.5% of the voting shares. Registered shareholders at the end of March 2010 totalled around 55,000.
Commenting on the past business year, Chairman of the Board of Directors Anton Scherrer said: "Despite a difficult economic environment, Swisscom posted solid results in 2009. In the face of increased competition, we only succeeded in partially offsetting last year's price cuts in excess of CHF 400 million. To compensate, steps were taken to further boost efficiency and reduce costs, and new products were launched."
Following the signing of various agreements with city and cantonal works departments, expansion of the fibre-optic network in Switzerland is making rapid headway. A liberal model was selected that enables different market players to work together in a sensible manner, while at the same time ensuring competition at the infrastructure level. "This long-term Fibre to the Home (FTTH) project will ensure that Switzerland has the infrastructure to retain its standing as the world's leading information and knowledge society in the future," says Anton Scherrer.
Shareholders approved the 2009 annual report, financial statements and consolidated financial statements, and complied with the recommendation of the Board of Directors to set the ordinary dividend per share at CHF 20 (CHF 13 net after deduction of withholding tax). This represents the eighth dividend increase in succession. The total dividend payout of CHF 1,036 million, or 39% of operating free cash flow, will allow Swisscom to further reduce net debt, which in turn will give the company greater financial flexibility. The dividend yield (based on the current share price) is around 5 per cent. The net dividend will be paid out to shareholders on 4 May 2010.
Discharge was granted to the members of the Board of Directors and Group Executive Board for the 2009 financial year. For the first time at the Annual General Meeting a consultative vote on the Group's remuneration report was carried out and approved.
As previously announced, Anton Scherrer will step down as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the next Annual General Meeting in 2011 and for this reason stood for re-election for a one-year term only. Hansueli Loosli will be proposed as Mr Scherrer's successor at the next Annual General Meeting in 2011. Hugo Gerber and Catherine Mühlemann were re-elected for a further two-year term.