At its board of directors (BoD) meeting on 25 February the Huber+Suhner Group adopted a new, very shareholder-friendly dividend policy and nominated a new CEO. The company has a very strong balance-sheet structure and has in the past few years been able to maintain a high level of net liquidity thanks to positive cash flows and despite acquisitions implemented. In view of this situation, the BoD dealt with the subject of future dividend policy. It decided to retain the income-based approach and the defined disbursement ratio of 40 to 50 percent of net income.
A dividend of at least CHF1.00 per share is now envisaged. This means that in financial years where the maximum disbursement ratio of 50 percent generates less than CHF1.00 per share, a dividend of CHF1.00 will be proposed to the following Annual General Meeting.
As a result of the strong financial basis, Huber+Suhner can finance this disbursement policy on the basis of its own resources. This results in a sustainable, attractive minimum yield for shareholders.
Also, in order to ensure long-term succession planning, it has already been decided that, in view of the 2017 Annual General Meeting, the current CEO, Urs Kaufmann, would resign from his operational remit and be proposed for election as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The current chairman of the board of directors, Beat Kälin, will resign from his office at this point in time. He will, however, continue to serve as a member of the board of directors.
The board of directors appointed Urs Ryffel as CEO as of 1 April 2017. He has been employed by the Huber+Suhner Group since 2002. As a highly qualified and internationally experienced executive, he has a record of considerable achievements in a number of different roles at the Group. As a member of the Executive Group Management, he has headed the Fiber Optics division since 2007. Over the past nine years and under the management of Urs Ryffel, Fiber Optics has developed into the largest and most profitable segment of the Huber+Suhner Group.
The board of directors welcomes this early appointment of successors at the top of the group. In the interests of continuity, it is also delighted to be able to appoint highly experienced managers from its own ranks as successors both as chairman of the board of directors and in the CEO role.