Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of KWS SAAT SE – Proposed dividend ratified
Einbeck, December 17, 2015†|†Shareholders adopt a dividend of €3.00 a share – Approval of the profit and loss transfer agreement with KWS LOCHOW GMBH – Executive Board confirms guidance of a double-digit EBIT return for the KWS Group at the end of the fiscal year, despite a difficult economic environment
All items on the agenda of today’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of KWS SAAT SE (ISIN: DE0007074007) were adopted by a large majority. With a slight reduction in the return on net income for the year to 8.5% (Previous year 8.7%), the dividend remains the same as in the previous year at €3.00. The shareholders also approved the profit and loss transfer agreement with KWS LOCHOW GMBH. The Group still aims to generate a double-digit EBIT return and to grow its net sales as well, although the situation in agricultural markets is expected to remain difficult.
Shareholders welcome successful performance
The execution of the company’s long-term corporate strategy was once again backed by the shareholders, who approved all items on the agenda of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in Einbeck by large majorities. As previously reported on October 15, KWS increased its expenditure on research and development and on distribution as planned by a total of €44 million in the past fiscal year. The R&D intensity climbed to 17.7% (16.2%). Despite some turbulence in agricultural markets and a difficult economic climate in important growth regions, operational business developed very successfully. Excluding the joint ventures, net sales rose by 6.8% to €986.0 (923.5) million, while operating income was €113.4 (118.3) million and was thus above expectations at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Conversion into KWS SAAT SE successfully completed
This was the first Annual Shareholders’ Meeting since the company changed its form to a European Stock Corporation. Chief Financial Officer Eva Kienle looked back at the conversion, which was completed in April 2015, and the subsequent steps. After representatives of the European workforce agreed on a model for employee participation together with the Executive Board in March, the first European body representing employees’ interests, the European Employee Committee (EEC), was elected in September. As a result, KWS is now also formally positioned as a European company and cross-border measures are easier to implement.
Annual Shareholders’ Meeting approves profit and loss transfer agreement
The Annual Shareholders’ Meeting adopted the proposal by the Executive Board and Supervisory Board and approved the profit and loss transfer agreement between KWS†SAAT†SE and KWS†LOCHOW†GMBH by a large majority. In the future, KWS†LOCHOW†GMBH will transfer its profits and losses, as determined on the basis of the German Commercial Code regulations, to KWS†SAAT†SE. The purpose of the agreement is to safeguard the company’s economic success, enable further organic growth and allow group-related advantages to be leveraged.
Forecast: double-digit EBIT return for 2015/2016 confirmed
In the first quarter of 2015/2016, the KWS Group increased its net sales by 11.3% compared with the same period of the previous year. Sharp fluctuations in individual currencies meant that the environment remained volatile. Nevertheless, the planned projects for distribution and research and development are to be implemented in the year as a whole. The R&D intensity is expected to be around 17%. All in all, the Executive Board still expects that net sales will rise by between 5% and 10% and that the EBIT margin will be at least 10%. Capital spending will again be well over €100 million due to the continued expansion of production plants and research and development capacities and the previously reported licensing agreement concluded with Syngenta.
Wolf-Gebhard von der Wense
Head of Investor Relations
Mobile: +49-151-188 55 673
KWS SAAT SE
 The R&D intensity relates to consolidated net sales in accordance with IFRS 11 (excluding joint ventures).