The Executive Board described the company’s performance in the past fiscal year 2018/2019 to the shareholders in attendance. The KWS Group achieved a 4.2% increase in net sales to €1.11 billion. Operating income (EBIT) rose by around 13% to €150.0 million, while earnings per share improved by approximately 4% to €3.15.
In view of the positive earnings performance, the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting endorsed the proposal by the Executive and Supervisory Boards and adopted a resolution to pay out a higher dividend of €0.67 (0.64). €22.1 (21.1) million will thus be distributed to the shareholders of KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA. That corresponds to a dividend payout ratio of 21.3% (21.2%), once again in line with the KWS Group’s earnings-oriented policy of paying a dividend of 20% to 25% of its net income.
Overall guidance confirmed for the fiscal year 2019/2020
The Executive Board also dealt with the company’s current business performance (in the first quarter of 2019/2020) in its comments and confirmed the guidance for the year as a whole. The Executive Board still expects the KWS Group to grow its net sales sharply by 8% to 12%. Acquisition of the vegetable seed business of Pop Vriend Seeds and growing corn seed business should make major contributions to that. An EBIT margin of between 11% and 13% is still anticipated.
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. In the fiscal year 2018/19, more than 5,500 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of EUR 1.1 billion and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 150 million. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for more than 160 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, rapeseed, sunflowers and vegetables. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to increase farmers’ yields and to improve resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested approximately EUR 200 million last fiscal year in research and development.
*All indications excluding the results from the companies accounted for using the equity method AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC, AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG – KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.
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