BayWa Annual General Meeting: shareholders approve raising dividend to €1.05 per share on the back of tremendous financial success
BayWa Chief Executive Officer Prof. Klaus Josef Lutz offered an exclusively positive assessment of the financial year 2021 at this year’s virtual Annual General Meeting. With revenues of €19.8 billion and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of €266.6 million, the past financial year was the most successful to date in the company’s nearly 100 years of existence. The strong first quarter of 2022 underscores how robust BayWa is, Lutz added: “As a provider of essential goods and services, we remained able to supply our customers throughout the crises over the past few years. Our pandemic management was smart and level-headed. The same goes for the approach to the challenges being magnified by the war in Ukraine – energy scarcity, disrupted supply chains, rising prices. We expect the prospects for BayWa to remain positive going forward.” The shareholders decided to raise the dividend by 5 cents to €1.05 for the financial year 2022. The dividend stood at 32 cents per share when Lutz took office as CEO in April 2008.
As Lutz pointed out in his speech, the company achieved or exceeded its targets for 2021 in nearly all segments. The Group’s performance was reflected in its share price. Having gained 16.6% year on year over the course of 2021, the BayWa share once again outperformed the German benchmark index DAX. The stock market year 2022 has also been very positive so far for BayWa shareholders. “Sustainability is one of the pillars of the forward-looking BayWa strategy,” Lutz said. “However, a social market economy is a must for sustainability. Innovators have to be able to rely on the freedom of the social market economy to look ahead and keep their eyes on the future instead of just taking cautious baby steps.”
Using examples from BayWa’s operating segments, Lutz outlined the impact that sustainable innovations would have on rising to global challenges such as hunger, malnutrition, energy security and climate protection. Plant-based proteins, for instance, will be a trend for health-conscious consumers in industrialised nations and will join animal-based products as a significant component in the efforts to feed the world. Construction technologies such as industrial prefabrication are setting new standards to counter the shortage of skilled labour and promote efficient, sustainable and healthy building. The BayWa r.e. AG subgroup – which is active in the renewable energies business and was itself a start-up just 14 years ago – is today one of the world’s leading players in the energy transition and is the largest contributor to the Group’s consolidated earnings for the year. Lutz: “I am proud that we invested in future markets such as renewable energies and in international agricultural, fruit and vegetable trading at an early stage, thus setting the course for BayWa’s future development. The record figures over the past few years confirm that our strategy was absolutely right. We will not rest on our laurels, but will instead continue working to further increase our income.”
On 31 March 2023, Prof. Klaus Josef Lutz will hand over the reins as Chief Executive Officer to his designated successor, Marcus Pöllinger. Despite his decision, Lutz will continue to be of service to BayWa. In March, Wolfgang Altmüller, the Supervisory Board Chairman of BayWa anchor shareholder Bayerische Raiffeisen-Beteiligungs-AG (BRB), nominated Lutz as the future Chairman of BayWa AG’s Supervisory Board. The new BayWa Supervisory Board will be elected at the 2023 Annual General Meeting. Manfred Nüssel, the current Chairman of BayWa’s Supervisory Board, stated in 2018 that he would not stand for re-election.
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