On 16 March 2020, the Federal Council classified the circumstances in Switzerland as an “extraordinary situation” and stepped up measures to protect the population.
In accordance with Ordinance 2 on measures to combat coronavirus (COVID-19), Emmi instructed that its shareholders may only exercise their voting rights at this year’s ordinary General Meeting by written or electronic means via the independent proxy.
Accordingly, only Emmi Chairman Konrad Graber, the independent proxy, a representative of the auditors and the Secretary of the Board of Directors were present at Emmi headquarters in Lucerne to discuss the agenda items in a correct and proper manner.
3'999 shareholders representing 4'528'597 shares (84.65 % of share capital) exercised their voting rights.
Closure of the last financial year
All proposals put forward by the Board of Directors were approved by the General Meeting of Emmi AG. The Management Report, the Consolidated Financial Statements and the 2019 Financial Statements were approved, and discharge was granted to the members of the Board of Directors for their services during financial year 2019 (agenda items 1 and 2).
Shareholders approved the distribution of a dividend of CHF 12.00 per registered share (previous year: CHF 9.00) (agenda item 3). The dividend will be distributed on 8 April 2020.
Approval of the total amount of remuneration
The total amount of remuneration was also approved (agenda item 4). The shareholders thus approved the maximum fixed remuneration (framework amount) of the Board of Directors (CHF 1,030,000) and the Agricultural Council (CHF 40,000) for financial year 2020, the maximum fixed remuneration (framework amount) of Group Management for financial year 2021 (CHF 5,480,000) and the definitive variable remuneration of Group Management for financial year 2019 (CHF 1,030,000).
The shareholders approved the proposals of the Board of Directors regarding all items concerning election to the Board of Directors (agenda item 5). All members of the Board of Directors were individually re-elected. The General Meeting also confirmed Konrad Graber as Chairman of the Board of Directors and the composition of the Personnel and Compensation Committee. The statutory auditor for financial year 2020 (as previously: KPMG AG, Lucerne) and the independent proxy (as previously: Pascal Engelberger, lawyer, Burger & Müller, Lucerne) were appointed under agenda items 6 and 7 respectively – also in accordance with the proposal of the Board of Directors.
Outlook for 2020
Emmi will continue to focus on the consistent implementation of its strategy in 2020. The first two months went according to plan. Since March, Emmi and its subsidiaries in Switzerland and abroad have likewise been facing a special situation.
According to CEO Urs Riedener, top priority is being placed on the protection of employees’ health, the maintenance of production, and the associated procurement of raw materials, packaging and operating materials to secure supply. A crisis management team is enacting global measures and coordinating their implementation.
As it is still too early to quantify the financial impact of the corona crisis, Emmi is presenting sales and earnings forecasts that had already been made when the results were communicated on 2 March 2020:
- Sales Group: 2 % to 3 %
- Sales business division Switzerland: 0 % to 1 %
- Sales business division Americas: 4 % to 6 %
- Sales business division Europe: 1 % to 3 %
- EBIT: CHF 255 million to CHF 265 million
- Net profit margin: 4.8 % to 5.3 %
Konrad Graber, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Emmi, on the corona crisis: “In many countries – especially in Switzerland, of course – the population is depending on us to maintain our production. Everyone at Emmi is aware of this responsibility. Where work cannot be done from a home office, for example in production and logistics, Emmi is taking extensive measures to ensure the safety of its employees in the workplace. I would like to express my sincere praise and gratitude to all employees for the matter-of-course approach they are taking to their duties so we can continue business as usual."
Once again, we are witnessing that "We are Emmi. We are proactive and we are not afraid of hard work!" is an Emmi value we all embody.
Emmi is a major Swiss milk processor. The company dates back to 1907, when it was founded by 62 dairy farming cooperatives around Lucerne. Over the past 20 years, Emmi has grown into an international, listed group. It has for many years pursued a successful strategy based on three pillars: strengthening its Swiss domestic market, international growth and rigorous cost management. Throughout its corporate history, Emmi’s keen awareness of its responsibility to society, animal welfare and the environment has been fundamental to its mission.
In Switzerland, Emmi manufactures a comprehensive range of dairy products for its own brands and private label products for customers, including leading exports such as Emmi Caffè Latte and Kaltbach. In other countries, its products – mainly speciality products – are manufactured locally. Alongside cow’s milk, it also processes goat’s and sheep’s milk.
In Switzerland, the Emmi Group has 25 production sites. Abroad, Emmi and its subsidiaries have a presence in 14 countries, seven of which have production facilities. Emmi exports products from Switzerland to around 60 countries. Its business activities focus on the Swiss domestic market as well as western Europe and the American continent. Half of its CHF 3.5 billion in sales – over 10 % of which stems from organic products – is generated in Switzerland, the other half abroad. Almost two-thirds of its more than 7,800 employees are currently based outside of Switzerland.