Zurich, 04 April 2012
The 14th Annual General Meeting of Swisscom Ltd in Zurich was attended by 1,941 shareholders, representing 84.3% of the voting shares. At the end of March 2012 the total number of registered shareholders amounted to approximately 68,000.
According to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Hansueli Loosli, Swisscom can look back on a momentous year featuring both a positive and a negative side: "As in the previous year, mobile data services and TV business produced the biggest growth, expanding at double-digit rates. Nevertheless, the ongoing price erosion in the Swiss core business could not be fully offset. The year 2011 also featured a very high level of investment in new-generation networks in Switzerland. In Italy, the difficult economic situation and rising interest rates led to reduced prospects for growth and higher capital costs. As a result, the value of the holding in Fastweb was adjusted."
Looking to the future, Hansueli Loosli pointed to the continued high investment in Swiss infrastructure: "Despite the uncertain economic situation and even though prices are likely to fall relatively sharply, we are investing more this year than during the last twelve months. This requires courage. Expanding broadband is a generational project with a very long-term investment horizon. We cannot generate any return with it over the short term. These investments represent a major contribution to ensuring that Switzerland, as an information and knowledge society, will continue to boast one of the world's best telecoms infrastructures.
Shareholders approved the annual report, financial statements and consolidated financial statements for 2011 and followed the Board of Directors' recommendation to set the ordinary dividend per share at CHF 22 gross (previous year CHF 21), the tenth increase in succession. The payout 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 in excess of 6 per cent. A net dividend of CHF 14.30 per share will be paid out on 13 April 2012 based on the Swiss withholding tax of 35%.
Discharge was granted to the members of the Board of Directors and Group Executive Board for the 2011 financial year. In a consultative vote, the meeting unanimously approved the Remuneration Report. The proposal of a shareholder for a special audit to be carried out regarding the acquisition of Fastweb was rejected by a majority of 92.8%.
Barbara Frei (1970) was elected to the Board of Directors. She has been ABB Italy Country Manager since 2010 and is Regional Manager of the Mediterranean region, which comprises southern Europe, the Maghreb and Israel. Barbara Frei, who has a doctorate in engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, started her career with ABB Switzerland in 1998. She has been a member of senior management since 2005 and was Country Manager for the Czech Republic until 2010. Her appointment follows the resignation of Othmar Vock.
Catherine Mühlemann and Hugo Gerber were both re-elected for a two-year period of office.