The generational change at KWS announced last year was completed at today’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. Andreas J. Büchting (75), long-standing Chairman of the Supervisory Board of KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA and general partner KWS SE, has resigned from his position as scheduled effective today. As part of Supervisory Board reelections, Dr. Marie Th. Schnell and Victor W. Balli were confirmed in their positions; Professor Stefan W. Hell and the former KWS Executive Board spokesperson Philip von dem Bussche were newly elected.
Andreas J. Büchting thanked the members leaving the Supervisory Board, Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser and Jürgen Bolduan, for their many years of service on the Supervisory Board of KWS.
Marie Th. Schnell recognized the lifetime achievement of Andreas J. Büchting in his 47 years working for the company: “The development of KWS to an internationally leading and innovative seed company is inextricably linked with the name Andreas J. Büchting. The long-term direction of the company, the strong focus on research and development and, not least, the unique KWS corporate culture are a reflection of his visionary strength and his unique leadership qualities. Today, KWS finds itself in an excellent position and has an outstanding team to take on the challenges of the future.”
Upon conclusion of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, Hagen Duenbostel (52) steps into the customary two-year cooling-off period and is expected to return as Chairman of the Supervisory Board at the beginning of 2025. Büchting recognized the outstanding contribution of Duenbostel to the operational and strategic development of KWS in his 19 years as a member of the Executive Board, having served as spokesperson since 2015.
Felix Büchting (48), seventh-generation member of the founding family, will succeed Hagen Duenbostel as the Executive Board spokesperson. The long-term composition of both boards is therefore secure.
Successful 2021/2022 fiscal year – stable dividend
The Executive Board explained the economic development of the past 2021/2022 fiscal year to the shareholders present. Net sales and results of operations (EBIT) of the KWS Group increased significantly in the 2021/2022 fiscal year; net income and earnings per share remained at the same level as the previous year.
On the basis of the positive business development, the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting passed the proposal of the Executive Board and Supervisory Board for the distribution of a dividend in the amount of €0.80 per share, corresponding to a distribution ratio of 24.5%. KWS therefore remains within the framework provided by the company’s dividend policy, which is based on the profitability of the KWS Group and ranges from 20% to 25% of net income.