Andreas Fuchs

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Deutsche Telekom puts sustainability at the heart of its actions

  • Tim Höttges at the 2023 shareholders’ meeting: “We act with a long-term focus. We act soundly. We act responsibly.”
  • Majority in T-Mobile US achieved
  • Dividend to increase from 64 eurocents to 70 eurocents per share
Deutsche Telekom AG Shareholders‘ Meeting April 5, 2023

Shareholders‘ Meeting 2023: Board of management (from left) Tim Höttges, Claudia Nemat, Chairman of the supervisory board Frank Appel, Birgit Bohle, Thorsten Langheim, Adel Al-Saleh, Dominique Leroy, Christian Illek, Srini Gopalan. © Deutsche Telekom, photo Norbert Ittermann

Sustainbility is at the heart of every facet of Deutsche Telekom’s business activities. CEO Tim Höttges made this clear at the Group’s shareholders’ meeting in Bonn. “We act with a long-term focus. We act soundly. We act responsibly,” he said. “Sustainability means: Never sticking with yesterday, instead always working for tomorrow.” Höttges also announced an important success for Deutsche Telekom: “We have achieved the majority in T-Mobile US.” Following the business combination with Sprint three years ago, the stake in T-Mobile US stood at 43 percent. Today, it stands at around 50.2 percent. Achieving a majority has been a stated goal of Deutsche Telekom since the 2021 Capital Markets Day.

Höttges referred to successes in the area of environmental and climate protection. “We have already achieved a great deal with this approach. We emit 94 percent fewer CO2 emissions than in 2017. We aim to be fully climate neutral by 2025. Last year, we reduced our energy consumption in Germany by 278 gigawatt hours – that is 11 percent,” he said. “We want to achieve net zero emissions from the production of cell phones. Anyone who fails to achieve green production will eventually be removed from the line-up. We import devices. But we export our environmental protection standards.” By 2040, Deutsche Telekom’s entire value chain is to be climate neutral. From the manufacture of devices to the power consumption of our customers. “2040 is a long way off. So, we now have a new interim goal. A 55 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2020,” said Höttges.

Sustainability also means solid finances. The Group’s revenue increased by 6.1 percent in the last financial year to 114.4 billion euros. The performance indicator adjusted EBITDA AL rose by 7.7 percent to 40.2 billion euros. Höttges declared that Deutsche Telekom has now passed its peak level of debt thanks to the strong free cash flow. At the same time, the Group managed to continue investing at a record level. This is also confirmed by the stock market: “Taking the dividend and share price together, the return for 2022 is 18.6 percent. For comparison: The DAX was down 12.4 percent in the same period,” he said. 

The best network is also a byword for sustainable corporate governance. Deutsche Telekom builds around 80 percent of all new cell sites in Germany, 4,800 since 2019. The 5G standard already covers 95 percent of the population. In the United States, T Mobile has by far the best mobile network. “We provide 310 million people there with 5G. More than the former top dogs AT&T and Verizon.” Germany’s fiber-optic rollout is gaining momentum. “We are building as fast as the diggers can dig for up to three million households this year – 25 to 30 million households by 2030. In urban and rural areas.”

Deutsche Telekom wants to be a reliable partner for customers. Deutsche Telekom supports business customers in digitalizing their processes. “It is not sustainable for Germany to live off its reserves. The ‘Made in Germany’ quality seal is showing cracks. We need to work together to revamp it. Digitalization is based on networks.” Höttges called for faster approval processes for digital infrastructure, such as for the building of mobile antennas, and the laying of fiber-optic cable. 

For the past financial year, 2022, a dividend of 70 eurocents per share is proposed to the shareholders’ meeting. In the prior year, a dividend of 64 eurocents per share had been paid out. Frank Appel chaired his first shareholders’ meeting for Deutsche Telekom as Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

This media information contains forward-looking statements that reflect the current views of Deutsche Telekom management with respect to future events. They are generally identified by the words “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “estimate,” “aim,” “goal,” “plan,” “will,” “seek,” “outlook,” or similar expressions and include generally any information that relates to expectations or targets for revenue, adjusted EBITDA AL, or other performance measures. Forward-looking statements are based on current plans, estimates, and projections, and should therefore be considered with caution. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond Deutsche Telekom’s control. They include, for instance, the progress of Deutsche Telekom’s staff-related restructuring measures and the impact of other significant strategic or business initiatives, including acquisitions, dispositions, and business combinations. In addition, movements in exchange rates and interest rates, regulatory rulings, stronger than expected competition, technological change, litigation, and regulatory developments, among other factors, may have a material adverse effect on costs and revenue development. If these or other risks and uncertainties materialize, or if the assumptions underlying any of these statements prove incorrect, Deutsche Telekom’s actual results may be materially different from those expressed or implied by such statements. Deutsche Telekom can offer no assurance that its expectations or targets will be achieved. Without prejudice to existing obligations under capital market law, Deutsche Telekom does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements to account for new information or future events or anything else. In addition to figures prepared in accordance with IFRS, Deutsche Telekom presents alternative performance measures, e.g., EBITDA, EBITDA AL, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA AL, adjusted EBITDA margin AL, core EBITDA, adjusted EBIT, EBIT margin, adjusted net profit/loss, adjusted earnings per share, free cash flow, free cash flow AL, gross debt, and net debt. These measures should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, the information prepared in accordance with IFRS. Alternative performance measures are not subject to IFRS or any other generally accepted accounting principles. Other companies may define these terms in different ways.

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