KWS’ Annual Shareholders’ Meeting adopts dividend increase

Einbeck, December 02, 2021

KWS heralds in handover to the next generation – Dividend increases to €0.80 a share – Guidance for fiscal 2021/2022 confirmed

The shareholders of KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN: DE0007074007) approved the resolutions proposed by management for all items on the agenda by a clear majority at today’s virtual Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. The dividend for fiscal 2020/2021 has been increased to €0.80 (previous year: €0.70) a share.

The previously announced, multi-stage generational change in the company’s Executive and Supervisory Board was initiated at this year’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. Léon Broers will leave KWS’ Executive Board as planned at the end of the year. “In his 15 years as the board member in charge of breeding and research, and also in his current position, in which he additionally holds responsibility for vegetables, Léon Broers has played a major and successful part in shaping the company’s fortunes,” was how Chairman of the Supervisory Board Andreas J. Büchting praised the achievements of the 60-year-old Dutchman. At the same time he welcomed Nicolás Wielandt as a new member of KWS’ Executive Board. Wielandt will be responsible for Corn Europe and Corn South America beginning in January 2022. Felix Büchting will take charge of Research and Breeding. Peter Hofmann will assume responsibility for Cereals, Oilseed Rape/Special Crops & Organic Seed, and Vegetables. In addition, the subject areas of corporate governance, compliance and risk management are to be pooled under the responsibility of the CFO in the course of the current fiscal year, meaning Eva Kienle will oversee them.

Further personnel changes are envisaged in the coming years, when successors to the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Spokesperson of the Executive Board are to be appointed. Detailed information on this subject can be found in the separate press release at: Generational change at KWS - KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA

Successful fiscal year 2020/2021 – Dividend raised significantly

The Executive Board explained the company’s economic performance in the past fiscal year 2020/2021 to the shareholders who participated in the meeting. The KWS Group grew its net sales by 2% to €1.3 billion, while net income for the year and earnings per share rose far more sharply, namely by 16%. The Executive Board and Supervisory Board thanked all employees for their commitment and successful efforts under the challenging conditions posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

In view of this strong performance, the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting endorsed the proposal from the Executive Board and Supervisory Board to pay a higher dividend of €0.80 (0.70). €26.4 (23.1) million will thus be distributed to KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA’s shareholders. That corresponds to a dividend payout ratio of 23.9% (24.3%), once again in line with the KWS Group’s earnings-oriented policy of distributing 20% to 25% of its net income.

Outlook for fiscal 2021/2022 confirmed

The Executive Board also dealt with the company’s current business performance (in the first quarter of 2021/2022) in its comments and confirmed the guidance for the year as a whole. The Executive Board assumes that the KWS Group will grow net sales by 5% to 7%. The EBIT margin is expected to be around 10% and in a range from 11% to 12% after adjustment for the noncash effects from purchase price allocations as part of company acquisitions. The R&D intensity is expected to be between 18% and 20%.

“We’re right on track in the current fiscal year. By formulating our sustainability targets for 2030 and with the upcoming handover to the next generation on the Supervisory and Executive Boards, we’ve also laid an important foundation in the past months to ensure successful running of the company with a long-term orientation,” stated Spokesperson of the Executive Board Hagen Duenbostel.

About KWS*
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. Around 6,000 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.3 billion in fiscal 2020/2021. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for 165 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, vegetables, rapeseed and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield for farmers and plants’ resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested more than €250 million last fiscal year in research and development.

* All figures excluding the shares of the equity-accounted companies AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC., AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG – KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.

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