1256 shareholders attended the 21st Annual General Meeting of Swisscom Ltd in Basel. They represented 73.01% of the voting shares. At the end of March 2019, there were approximately 74,500 registered Swisscom shareholders.
Hansueli Loosli, Chairman of the Board of Directors, is satisfied with the company’s performance in 2018: “Our market is increasingly saturated, prices and costs are under pressure, and there is intense competition in our core business. Despite this, we managed to generate revenue and earnings in 2018 that were in line with the previous year. Our inOne bundled offering remains extremely successful. Almost one million new customers gained within the course of a year. In addition, Swisscom TV is still Switzerland’s most popular digital TV offering. The cornerstone of our success is our powerful network and IT infrastructure. Last year, we invested around CHF 1.65 billion in expanding these resources in Switzerland alone. We are currently forging ahead with the next-generation 5G mobile phone technology.”
Shareholders approved the Management Commentary, the consolidated financial statements and the financial statements for 2018 and followed the Board of Directors’ proposal to set the ordinary gross dividend at CHF 22 per share, the same as in the previous year. Based on the current share price, the dividend yield is around 4.5%. The total dividend payout is CHF 1,140 million. A net dividend of CHF 14.30 per share will be paid to shareholders on 8 April 2019 after deducting Swiss withholding tax of 35%.
Swisscom expects to close 2019 with net revenue of approximately CHF 11.4 billion and EBITDA of around CHF 4.3 billion. The expansion of the network infrastructure in Switzerland and Italy continues to demand a very high level of investment. Swisscom expects investment spending to come to CHF 2.3 billion in total, more than CHF 1.6 billion of which will be in Switzerland. “If our targets are met, we plan to once again propose payment of a dividend of CHF 22 per share for the 2019 financial year at the 2020 Annual General Meeting,” said Hansueli Loosli.
Discharge was granted to the members of the Board of Directors and Group Executive Board for the 2018 financial year. In a consultative vote, the meeting unanimously approved the Remuneration Report.
Catherine Mühlemann retired from the Board of Directors after reaching the maximum term of office. Valérie Berset Bircher had already stepped down for professional reasons with effect from 31 December 2018. On behalf of Swisscom, the Board of Directors would like to thank Catherine Mühlemann and Valérie Berset Bircher for their tireless and greatly valued service. Sandra Lathion-Zweifel and Michael Rechsteiner were elected as new members of the Board of Directors, the former as a staff representative. Sandra Lathion-Zweifel is counsel for the Lenz & Staehelin law firm in Geneva. She has a licentiate degree in law, a Master of Laws from Columbia University, New York, and a trader’s licence from the SIX Swiss Exchange, as well as many years of management experience in the financial industry and as a lawyer. Michael Rechsteiner is the European head of Power Services and Gas Power at General Electric. He has a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zurich and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of St. Gallen, as well as many years of management experience at international corporations. The one-year terms of office of all the other members of the Board of Directors also expired at the Annual General Meeting. All the members of the Board of Directors, the Chairman and the members of the Remuneration Committee were re-elected at the Annual General Meeting for a further year. In addition, the Annual General Meeting approved the total remuneration of the Board of Directors and Group Executive Board for 2020 and elected Reber Rechtsanwälte KIG as the independent proxy and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the new auditors.
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