06/30/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/30/2020 08:44
Bochum, June 30, 2020 - The shareholders of Vonovia SE ('Vonovia') approved all resolutions proposed by the Supervisory Board and Management Board with the required majority at today's Annual General Meeting. They also formally approved the actions of the Supervisory Board (91,83 % of the votes) and the Management Board (97,65 %) for the 2019 fiscal year with a large majority.
In order to protect the individuals involved, Vonovia organized a virtual Annual General Meeting for the very first time. The Annual General Meeting was held using a new and creative format. 'We see the event as an opportunity to forge ahead with digitalization and exploit the advantages it offers,' said Chairman of the Supervisory Board Jürgen Fitschen. Representatives of the Supervisory Board and the Management Board spoke to their shareholders from the studio set up at the corporate headquarters in Bochum. Key stakeholders made statements by video.
The shareholders used a live stream to follow the Annual General Meeting. 700 attendees simultaneously followed the live stream.
They had submitted their questions electronically in the period leading up to June 27. A sign language interpreter provided a live translation of the entire Annual General Meeting for attendees with hearing impairments. Voting rights could be exercised before and during the Annual General Meeting per postal vote or by authorizing the company's proxies.
'Well Positioned Even for Turbulent Times'
Rolf Buch, CEO of Vonovia SE, spoke of the 'memorable circumstances' surrounding the Annual General Meeting. In his review of the successful fiscal year, he said to the company's shareholders, 'We have achieved everything that we set out to achieve. Vonovia is well positioned - even for turbulent times. We are aware, however, that we would not have made it this far without your support. On behalf of the entire Management Board, I would like to thank you most sincerely.'
The dividend proposed by the Supervisory Board and the Management Board for the 2019 fiscal year found broad support among Vonovia's shareholders. This means that Vonovia will be distributing € 1.57 per share, which corresponds to an increase of 9% compared to the previous year. Shareholders can once again choose a scrip dividend this year instead of a conventional cash dividend.
Trust as a Key Foundation
'The most important thing in our business is trust,' said Rolf Buch in his speech. He included that Vonovia needs 'the trust of our employees and our tenants,' as well as the trust of policymakers and the population at large. What is more, 'We need the trust of our shareholders.' The CEO emphasized, 'Trust is something that we have to earn, time and time again. By having courage and confidence. By listening. By showing that we are taking responsibility. By making sure that others understand the decisions we make. And by keeping the promises we have made.'
100 Additional Apprenticeships
In the morning, Vonovia had also announced that it would be almost doubling the number of apprenticeships in the trades this year by 100 to 210. Including the company's commercial apprentices, this will allow 265 career entrants to start their vocational training at Vonovia, the highest number ever recorded. Up-and-coming specialists can also start or continue their training at Vonovia if the company they are currently training with has become insolvent.
The additional apprenticeships - plant engineer, tiler, electronics technician, painter and gardener - will be available in all Vonovia regions throughout Germany. 'We offer prospects for young people,' said Rolf Buch during the Annual General Meeting. Young people just starting out in working life have a good chance of being taken on permanently by Vonovia once they have completed their training. The training rate stood at 5% last year, outstripping the average for the DAX companies.
The Supervisory Board of Vonovia SE includes: Jürgen Fitschen (Chairman), Prof. Edgar Ernst (Deputy Chairman), Burkhard Ulrich Drescher, Vitus Eckert, Dr. Florian Funck, Dr. Ute Geipel-Faber, Daniel Just, Hildegard Müller, Prof. Klaus Rauscher, Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Clara-Christina Streit and Christian Ulbrich.
The Management Board of Vonovia SE includes: Rolf Buch (CEO), Arnd Fittkau (CRO), Daniel Riedl (Development and Austria) and Helene von Roeder (CFO).
The detailed voting results of the Annual General Meeting will be published at https://investoren.vonovia.de/hv.
2020 Financial Calendar
August 5: Interim Financial Report for 2020
November 4: Interim Statement for the first nine months of 2020