2023 Annual General Meeting: BayWa pays dividend of €1.20 per share in anniversary year
CEO Marcus Pöllinger names shortage of skilled workers, sustainability requirements and geopolitical tensions as the three key challenges facing the company.
Chief Executive Officer Marcus Pöllinger, who took office on 1 April, struck a thoroughly positive note at today’s Annual General Meeting of BayWa AG. With revenues of €27.1 billion and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of €504.1 million, the Group set new records in an exceptional financial year 2022. “We have stood up to the crises of recent years and delivered – in the truest sense of the word – while others were already reaching the end of their capabilities. We are proud to be a provider of essential goods and services that people can rely on,” the BayWa CEO told around 1,200 attendees at the International Congress Center in Munich.
The shareholders resolved to increase the dividend for the past financial year by €0.05 to €1.10. They also voted in favour of paying a special dividend of €0.10 per share this year to mark the 100th anniversary of BayWa AG.
An exceptional 2022
BayWa continues to perform strongly in the current financial year and is on track to achieve its expected earnings for 2023 of between €320 million and €370 million. In the medium term, BayWa anticipates Group EBIT of between €470 million and €520 million. Additional growth potential will come primarily from renewable energies and international agricultural trade. In the Building Materials Segment, the company sees good opportunities to drive forward the construction business in its core regions by leveraging vertical integration.
BayWa’s strong earnings in an exceptional 2022 were also reflected in the share price. While Germany’s benchmark stock exchange index, the DAX, fell by 12.3% in the past year, BayWa shares were among the outperformers of 2022, rising by 12.1%.
Seeing the big picture on sustainability
Marcus Pöllinger used his first speech in front of shareholders to set out how BayWa will deal with the three key challenges facing businesses: stricter requirements for sustainable corporate governance, geopolitical uncertainties and the shortage of skilled workers.
Sustainability is about the big picture, said Pöllinger: “In other words, how we want to live, work and do business. That is why we are investing in the future.” As examples of this, the Chief Executive Officer mentioned the breeding and future marketing of “Tutti”, the world’s first hot-climate apple variety, as well as the development of agrivoltaic systems to enable the dual use of agricultural land. “We supply our customers with what they need to till their fields, heat their homes and build houses. Just as importantly, though, we help them sustainably reduce their own carbon footprint.”
The past few months in particular have shown that even industrialised countries can run short of essentials such as food and energy. “As a company, we must mitigate these sources of uncertainty by making clear decisions,” said Pöllinger. “We are doing this through state-of-the-art technology and investments in promising fields that will help us become more sustainable, efficient and agile.” Examples of this approach include modular bathroom construction in the Building Materials Segment by the BayWa Group company Tjiko, the heat contracting activities of BayWa Energie Dienstleistungs GmbH and the vegan egg produced by the Berlin-based start-up Neggst, in which BayWa Venture GmbH is invested.
Talk differently to generations Z and Alpha
Pöllinger also highlighted the shortage of skilled workers, describing it as “something that we will all be faced with for a long time to come”: “We have realised that we need to take a different approach than before when talking to both generation Z and the even younger generation Alpha.” At the same time, Pöllinger emphasised how attractive BayWa is as an employer. In its role as a provider of essential goods and services, the company offers young people the sense of purpose they are now looking for in a job, he said. What is more, BayWa allows its staff to pursue any career path they choose, with half of all managers at the company having once been trainees there.
Looking to the future, the Chief Executive Officer gave shareholders an assurance of continuity: “BayWa will stay true to itself by continuing to evolve in a fast-moving world. We are a network of innovative companies around the world. In 1923, the founders of our company could hardly have imagined the BayWa of today. But I am convinced that seeing where we now stand would have made them very happy.”
- © BayWa AG, free of charge: Porträt Marcus Pöllinger 140.6 KB / JPG Download