Shareholders agree to dividend
May 24, 2012
The Deutsche Telekom shareholders’ meeting came to a close after approximately 8.5 hours. The shareholders accepted all of the motions brought by the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board – including the recommended dividend of 70 euro cents per share. René Obermann also explained the new aspects emphasized in the strategy.
Deutsche Telekom wants to stand out even more from its competitors and to highlight its innovative strength in the future. René Obermann emphasized this point and explained the new aspects of the strategy. “In essence, we are striving to provide our customers with communication, transaction, entertainment, and IT services, based on a reliable state-of-the-art infrastructure. We want our customers to say: Deutsche Telekom is my first choice for connected life and work,” explained the DT CEO. The company plans to achieve this goal by focusing on four strategic areas: Integrated networks for the gigabit society, innovation through collaboration, secure cloud solutions and keeping customers delighted.
Deutsche Telekom will concentrate on these topics. “We know what we have to do - and we know how to do it,” said Obermann. “We must compete for every customer in our core business. We must change our company, streamline our processes and organizations in order to remain competitive in an industry that is undergoing dramatic change. And we must renew our company, become more innovative and faster, in order to become successful with Internet and cloud services.”
He also called for “basic regulatory issues” to be resolved once and for all. “We therefore need less regulation, not more.” The “conflict between harsh competition and in-comprehensible regulatory decisions” means the air is getting thinner for European telecommunications companies.
The difficult market environment was also seen in the discussions that followed. For the most part, shareholder representatives supported the Group’s course and understand the current situation in the industry. Lars Labryga, from Germany’s Association for the Protection of Capital Investors (Schutzgemeinschaft der Kapitalanleger) pointed out that DT is facing strong opposition from regulators. He called for “fair protection of investments” for the rollout of the fiber-optic network, for instance. Klaus Kaldemorgen, from Germany-based investment company DWS also argued for “fair competitive conditions”, referring to cable network operators, who he said enjoy an unfair advantage.
Despite the economic crisis, despite the brutal competition and despite adverse regulation, Deutsche Telekom stands today for stability and reliability. Obermann emphasized: “This means high value for long-term investors in these uncertain times.” While a number of enterprises from our industry are cutting their dividends, DT is sticking to its targets. Once again, the dividend will be tax-free for shareholders in Germany this year.