Dornbirn, Austria – The Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of Zumtobel AG at the company's registered place of business in Dornbirn in the Vorarlberg region of Austria today ratified the prior actions of the members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board of the internationally active lighting group. With 43,9% of the company's share capital represented, the meeting again attracted a strong shareholder presence. The meeting unanimously* ratified the actions of the two members of the Management Board, CEO Andreas Ludwig and CFO Thomas Spitzenpfeil, in the 2008/09 financial year. The prior actions of the members of the Supervisory Board were also ratified by a very large majority.
Resolutions on dividend payments and capital reduction
The Shareholders' Meeting unanimously endorsed the joint proposal by the Supervisory and Management Boards to make no dividend payments to shareholders for the 2008/09 financial year in view of the impact of the international economic crisis. In this context, CEO Andreas Ludwig underlined the company's intention to return to its former dividend policy once the crisis was over. The meeting also approved the proposed reduction in share capital, thereby enabling the company to retire 1.2 million shares already in its possession. This resolution will take effect upon entry into the Commercial Register. As a result, the company's share capital will show a slight reduction from EUR 111.76 million to EUR 108.75 million.
Leaner corporate structures / Martin Brandt joins the Management Board
In his management report, Zumtobel Group CEO Andreas Ludwig informed the shareholders about the leaner corporate structures to be introduced on 1 October. In line with the revised structures, responsibility for operational management of the current Zumtobel Lighting Division (which handles the Group's luminaire business through the Zumtobel and Thorn brands) will lie with the Management Board, dispensing with the former divisional management. One outcome of this restructuring is the appointment of a third board member in addition to the CEO and CFO, as Chief Operating Officer (COO) responsible for the operational lighting business. To fill the role of COO, the Supervisory Board has appointed Martin Brandt to the Management Board with effect from 1 September 2009.
CEO Ludwig confirms savings target of up to EUR 100 million
For the current 2009/10 financial year, the Management Board is expecting to see a further deterioration in the commercial construction sector. Given the late-cycle nature of lighting-industry business, the crisis is only expected to bottom out for the industry in the course of 2010. In addition to the tough economic environment, sales and earnings in the current financial year are again being impacted by negative foreign exchange effects. Against this backdrop, the Management Board reaffirmed its intention of achieving a volume of savings of up to EUR 100 million by the end of the 2010/11 financial year. The restructuring process is designed to make the company much leaner and more flexible, so that as market and technology leader it is well placed to outperform the market when the economy picks up again.
"By streamlining our corporate structures we have taken a major step towards becoming even faster and more flexible in the future. We expect the new structures will not only speed up decision-making and processes, but also help realise synergies and significant cost cuts, above all in the administration sector," said Zumtobel Group CEO Andreas Ludwig.
Review of 2008/09
The Zumtobel Group concluded the 2008/09 financial year with consolidated revenues of EUR 1,174.0 million, 8.4% down on the previous year. Adjusted for negative foreign exchange effects, revenues declined 5.1%. Adjusted for special effects, EBIT stood at EUR 78.9 million (-35.8%). The EBIT margin reached 6.7% in 2008/09 (PY: 9.6%). Net income for the year fell to EUR 13.3 million (PY: EUR 93.5 million).
The Management Board with the President of the Supervisory Board: from left to right: Thomas Spitzenpfeil (CFO), Andreas Ludwig (CEO), Jürg Zumtobel and Martin Brandt (COO as of September 1, 2009)
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