3 May 2012
HeidelbergCement – Annual General Meeting
on Thursday, 3 May 2012, at the Kongresshaus Stadthalle Heidelberg, Germany
In his speech to about 450 shareholders, CEO Dr. Bernd Scheifele offered a look back at HeidelbergCement’s successful development in 2011. Despite a massive surge in energy costs, HeidelbergCement was among the few companies in the building materials sector to achieve increases in revenue, operating income, and net income. The improvements were attributable to HeidelbergCement’s excellent geographical positioning in local growth markets, as well as the successful implementation of the programme for financial and operational excellence “FOX 2013”. Continued systematic debt reduction resulted in stronger key financial figures, which led to an upgrading of the company’s credit rating by the rating agencies. During the crisis, HeidelbergCement carried on investing in attractive growth markets. In 2011 alone, the company expanded cement production capacity by a further 3 million tonnes in Poland and Russia.
The shareholder structure of HeidelbergCement continued to diversify over the past 12 months along with an increase in the proportion of North American and European value-oriented investors in the shareholder pool. The shareprice of HeidelbergCement recovered significantly but lagged the development of the DAX after a phase of weakness in the middle of 2011, when the European debt crisis and uncertainties about the recovery of the US weighed on the stock. Since the start of 2012, HeidelbergCement shares outperformed the peers and indices.
Outlook for 2012 confirmed
Dr. Scheifele also reported on the results and developments in the recently ended first quarter 2012, reconfirming HeidelbergCement’s outlook for the remainder of the year as presented at the press conference on 2011 results in March. HeidelbergCement will continue its efforts to increase efficiency and reduce debt, while maintaining its strategy of targeted investment in cement capacities in growth markets. Thanks to the company's global presence in attractive markets throughout both the emerging and industrialised world, and as market leader in aggregates, HeidelbergCement is ideally positioned to benefit over-proportionally from a further global economic recovery.
Dividend increased by 40%
The Annual General Meeting has approved the proposal of the administration to increase the dividend by 40% to €0.35 with a substantial majority of 99.97%. “The increase of the dividend is a clear signal to our retail shareholders that we are committed to reach an industry standard payout ratio of between 30% and 35% in the mid-term,” explained Dr. Bernd Scheifele.
Of the company’s € 562.5 million in subscribed share capital, 73.41% were represented.