SFS shareholders approve all proposals at Annual General Meeting
Media release – April 27, 2023
At the 30th Annual General Meeting on April 26, 2023, the shareholders of SFS Group approved all proposals of the Board of Directors. The shareholders accepted the proposed amendments to the Articles of Association in full and elected Fabian Tschan to the Board of Directors. The proposed dividend of CHF 2.50 per share was approved.
The Annual General Meeting was held at Sportzentrum Aegeten in Widnau (Switzerland) on April 26, 2023, with physical attendance for the first time in three years. Thomas Oetterli, Chairman of the Board of Directors, welcomed the independent proxy, guests and 825 shareholders who were present. In total, 32,419,473 shares were represented, which corresponds to 83.34% of the share capital. All proposals were approved. The schedule provided for a review of the financial year 2022 and a panel discussion in which CEO Jens Breu and CFO Volker Dostmann were interviewed by two SFS apprentices, followed by the statutory part. As in previous years, more than 100 apprentices made a significant contribution to the success of the Annual General Meeting, underlining how important SFS considers apprenticeships for the success of the company.
Amendments to the Articles of Association
In order to meet the requirements of the revised Swiss corporate law that came into force on January 1, 2023, and to take account of current best practice in the area of corporate governance, the Board of Directors proposed various amendments to the Articles of Association of SFS Group AG, all of which were approved by shareholders. Once entered in the commercial register, the revised Articles of Association will be published on SFS’s website at www.sfs.com.
Change in composition of Board of Directors – continuity guaranteed
As part of the long-term succession plan set up by the family shareholders, Bettina Stadler did not stand for re-election at the Annual General Meeting yesterday. The Board of Directors would like to sincerely thank Bettina for her many years of service on the Board of Directors and as a member of the Audit Committee. The Board of Directors proposed Fabian Tschan as the new Board member to represent the family shareholders in the future. Shareholders accepted this proposal.
All the other members of the Board of Directors and Chairman Thomas Oetterli were confirmed for the term of office up to the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting. The re-election of Urs Kaufmann (Chairman), Nick Huber and Thomas Oetterli as members of the Nomination and Compensation Committee was also approved.
Likewise, shareholders with voting rights confirmed the election of the independent proxy, bürki bolt rechtsanwälte in Heerbrugg (Switzerland), and that of the external auditor, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers AG in St.Gallen (Switzerland).
Approval of the management report, consolidated financial statements and annual financial statements
The management report, consolidated financial statements and annual financial statements for 2022 were approved by shareholders. All members of the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Board were granted discharge from liability.
Dividend of CHF 2.50 per registered share confirmed
Thanks to robust earnings and the completed transaction with Hoffmann, the Board of Directors proposed that a dividend of CHF 2.50 per registered share be distributed, up from CHF 2.20 in the previous year – an increase of 13.6%. One half will be distributed from retained earnings and the other from statutory capital reserve. It will be paid out on May 3, 2023.
The annual results for 2023 are expected to be published on March 1, 2024, while the 31st Annual General Meeting is expected to be held on April 24, 2024. For other key dates, see SFS’s website at www.sfs.com.