920 shareholders took part in the 20th General Meeting of Swisscom Ltd in Fribourg. They represented 72.81 percent of the shares with voting rights. The number of Swisscom shareholders registered in total at the end of March 2018 was around 72,500.
According to Hansueli Loosli, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Swisscom can look back on a satisfactory year: "We have again successfully held our own in a demanding environment. Swisscom TV is still the most popular digital television offer in Switzerland. Furthermore, we also improved even further in terms of bundle offers. The inOne combined offers in particular are very popular. With more than 1.3 million customers within a period of nine months, it's the most successful product we have ever had. The challenges in 2017 included the increasingly strong competition, the lower roaming prices and the decline in turnover for fixed network telephony. This caused a general drop in turnover in Swiss core business. We are still investing a lot in the expansion of our network and IT infrastructures, and last year this amount was nearly CHF 1.7 billion in Switzerland alone. But we are laying the foundation for our future success with this. After all, fast Internet and good coverage, even in more remote regions, are key factors for our customers."
The shareholders approved the management report, the consolidated financial statement and the financial statement for 2017. In addition, they agreed to the request of the Board of Directors to set the ordinary dividend at CHF 22 gross per share, as in the previous year. The dividend yield is around 4.7 percent – based on the current closing price. The total dividend amount is CHF 1,140 million. On 10 April 2018, shareholders will be paid a net dividend of CHF 14.30 per share after deduction of federal withholding tax of 35 percent.
For the current year 2018, Swisscom expects a net turnover of around CHF 11.6 billion and EBITDA of around CHF 4.2 billion. The development of the network infrastructure in Switzerland and in Italy continues to require high investments: Swisscom expects the overall amount to be less than CHF 2.4 billion, and over CHF 1.6 billion of this will be invested in Switzerland. "If Swisscom achieves its goals, we are again planning to propose a dividend of CHF 22 per share to the General Meeting of Shareholders 2019 for the financial year 2018," says Hansueli Loosli.
The Meeting formally approved the actions of the members of the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Board for the financial year 2017. In an advisory vote, the Meeting noted and approved the remuneration report.
Theophil Schlatter, the former Deputy Chairman, stepped down from the Board. Anna Mossberg was elected as his successor on the Board. She was a member of the management team of Google Sweden, with responsibility for many areas as an industry leader for digitisation, until March of this year. Prior to this she held long term management positions with Telia Company and Deutsche Telecom. At the General Meeting of Shareholders, the one-year term of office of all other members of the Board of Directors came to an end. All members of the Board of Directors, the Chairman and the members of the Remuneration Committee were re-elected by the General Meeting of Shareholders individually for one year.
In October 1998, the Swiss Confederation took Swisscom public. The federal government currently holds around 51% of Swisscom’s stock. Swisscom has successfully operated in the marketplace as a listed company for 20 years. Since its IPO, Swisscom has distributed a total of CHF 32 billion to its shareholders in the form of dividends, par value reductions and share buybacks.
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