At Deutsche Telekom’s shareholders’ meeting in Cologne, shareholders approved the proposals of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board by a large majority.
DT announced its determination to exploit the industry’s future potential by implementing a new strategy and tapping clearly defined growth areas.
Among other things, the meeting approved a dividend of EUR 0.78 per share for the 2009 financial year. As in the previous year, the 2009 dividend will be tax-free in Germany. Shareholders’ representatives had largely welcomed the Group’s dividend policy. Marc Tüngler (Deutschen Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz) said the policy was the right one, and Klaus Kaldemorgen of the DWS association also applauded the company’s respective announcements. Turning to DT’s strategic plans, the representatives seemed to detect some open issues – like the question whether future expensive acquisitions were to help fuel growth. Kaldemorgen also urged management to find ways of getting the big Internet players, who profit from network infrastructure expansion, to pay their share of the costs. Lars Labryga of the Schutzgemeinschaft der Kapitalanleger noted that the Group had coped with the 2009 global crisis well. Now, it must become as innovative as it liked to present itself, he said. Serving all stakeholders Earlier, CEO René Obermann had addressed the meeting. Transparency and confidence in collaboration with all interest groups are essential prerequisites for Deutsche Telekom’s sustained business success, he said. Obermann also presented Edward Kozel as the Group’s new Chief Technology and Innovation Officer (CTIO), succeeding Hamid Akhavan. "Our results enable us to pursue a policy that gives appropriate consideration to all interest groups," Obermann emphasized. "For example, our employees benefit from the fact that we have retained over 7,000 internal jobs by pursuing a consistent insourcing strategy. Our creditors are satisfied, as our liquidity has not suffered in spite of the restructuring and the financial crisis. And of course, our shareholders are happy, too, because a strong cash flow is an important basis for an attractive dividend." Fix – Transform – Innovate Customers are using increasingly diverse and complex applications on telecommunications networks, fueling unabated and massive growth in the volume of data transmitted every day. "With our new Fix – Transform – Innovate strategy, we are getting Deutsche Telekom in shape for the gigabit society and we are ensuring future evolution,” the CEO told around 5,500 shareholders. Obermann talked about the Board of Management’s efforts to realign the company and gave a comprehensive insight into the development of the Group from a conventional telecommunications corporation into a "telco plus" – a multi-product Internet company. Progress is aimed at pushing forward and expanding the company's business by driving up revenue from growth areas via investment in intelligent networks and IT services, along with Internet and network services. To this end, five growth areas have been defined – mobile Internet, the connected home, proprietary Internet services, systems solutions, and intelligent network solutions for energy, healthcare, media, and the connected car. Overall, revenue is to be almost doubled in these areas from EUR 15 billion today to around EUR 29 billion in 2015. Sustainable HR development and dividend Under the new strategy, the stakeholder-oriented policy is to be maintained over the coming years. In terms of employees, this means around 9,000 new hires are planned for the next few years. Deutsche Telekom aims to pay out EUR 3.4 billion per year over the next three years until 2012. The Group is thus the first DAX-listed company to communicate a dividend strategy for three years in conjunction with a share buy-back also over three years. The Board of Management and Supervisory Board are underscoring their faith in the positive development of Deutsche Telekom, in particular future free cash flow and sound balance sheet figures.