SFS received shareholder approval for all proposals and is prepared for the anticipated economic downturn
News – 23 April 2020
Shareholders at the 27th Annual General Meeting of SFS Group AG approved all proposals of the Board of Directors by a large majority. Thanks to its solid quarterly results, robust financial position and an extensive package of measures, SFS is prepared to cope with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on article 6a of the COVID-19 Ordinance 2 issued the Swiss Federal Council on 13/16 March 2020, the Board of Directors of SFS Group AG made use of the option to order written or electronic voting and the granting of power of attorney to the independent proxy as the only way to participate in the Annual General Meeting of 23 April 2020.
Physical participation of shareholders in the Annual General Meeting was thus prohibited. The Annual General Meeting on 23 April 2020 was held at the headquarters of SFS Group AG in the presence of the independent proxy and a representative of the external auditor. A total of 30'653'423 voting shares were represented. This corresponds to 81.74% of total share capital.
All proposals approved by a large majority
Shareholders approved the management report, the financial statements and the consolidated financial statements. All members of the Board of Directors were re-elected and the compensation for the members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board was approved. Members of the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Board were granted discharge.
The law firm Bürki Bolt in Heerbrugg was re-elected as independent proxy and PricewaterhouseCoopers AG in St. Gallen was re-elected as statutory auditor.
Dividend reduced by 10% from the previous year in a sign of solidarity
The dividend proposal of CHF 1.80 per registered share was also approved by a large majority. The Board of Directors had revised its initial dividend proposal and proposed a CHF 0.20 or 10% reduction in the dividend compared to the previous year as a sign of solidarity in view of the extraordinary situation triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, which calls for sensible and responsible action.
Solid results achieved in the first quarter of 2020
Thanks to the solid results achieved in the first quarter of 2020, robust financial position and an extensive package of measures, SFS is prepared for the economic slowdown. Despite the obvious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic from mid-March on, the company achieved solid results in the first quarter. Organic growth was slightly positive and profits were in line with the prior-year results.
Due to the unprecedented economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, SFS expects a significant downturn in business in the second quarter. The impact of the corona crisis on the current financial year cannot yet be determined. Capacity has been downsized to reflect reduced demand, primarily by introducing short-time work. Additional measures to lower costs and capital expenditure were taken. Innovation activities continue unabated.
Thanks to its well-diversified end markets, its good market position and robust finances, SFS is prepared to overcome the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.