Basel, 26 March 2010: At their Annual General Meeting (AGM) today in Basel, the shareholders of Straumann Holding AG approved all the proposals put forward by the Board of Directors. 611 shareholders attended the meeting and a total of 9 812 144 voting shares were represented, corresponding to 63% of the overall share capital.
The meeting approved the appropriation of the available earnings, which totaled CHF 643.1 million. CHF 58.7 million thereof were allocated to the 2009 dividend, corresponding to a payout ratio of 40% of net profit. Despite the weak economy, Straumann has maintained the dividend at CHF 3.75 per share, which will be paid as of 7 April 2009.
The shareholders approved the 2009 Annual Report, including the compensation report, the 2009 Financial Statements, in addition to the discharge of the Board of Directors for their activities in 2009. PricewaterhouseCoopers of Basel was reappointed as Statutory Auditors and Group Auditors for a further term of one year.
Board of Directors confirmed and expanded
As previously announced, Dr h.c. Rudolf Maag (Chairman), Oskar Ronner (Vice Chairman) and Jürg Morant stepped down from the Board after many years of distinguished service. The remaining Directors – Gilbert Achermann, Dr Sebastian Burckhardt, Dominik Ellenrieder und Dr h.c. Thomas Straumann were all re-elected for a further one-year term of office. They are joined by four new Directors: Roland Hess, Ulrich Looser, Dr Beat Lüthi and Stefan Meister – each also elected for one year. The new members strengthen the Board’s competences in international strategic planning, business leadership and entrepreneurial expertise. Their calibre and profile exemplify Straumann’s efforts to achieve and maintain best practices in order to plan for continuity, sustainability and value creation.
Planned succession executed
After the AGM, the Board met and appointed Gilbert Achermann and Dr h.c. Thomas Straumann as new Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively.
At the same time, Mr Achermann relinquished his responsibilities as CEO. He is succeeded – as planned – by Beat Spalinger, who in turn is succeeded as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations by Wolf-Rüdiger Daetz.
Straumann well positioned for the future
In his summary of the past business year Dr h.c. Rudolf Maag, who has served as Chairman for the past eight years, explained that the dental markets had suffered from the worldwide recession. Straumann had, however, succeeded in delivering above-market performance for the second consecutive year. The Group thus gained market share both in Europe and North America.
At the same time, Straumann invested counter-cyclically in R&D, Sales and new product launches, which puts the company in a strong position to master the challenges of the future.
“With our new leadership team, the Straumann Group is well positioned to become the global partner of choice in implant, restorative and regenerative dentistry in the new decade. Our structured process of leadership succession will ensure continuity, sustainable development and long-term value creation,” Dr h.c. Maag noted.
Despite the recession the sustained fundamental attractiveness of the business has not changed and Dr h.c. Maag concluded that the market will return to its original strength: “We are prepared to participate in a rebounding market,” he said.
In 2011, the ordinary general meeting of the shareholders will be convened on 18 March at the same location (Basel Trade-Fair Congress Center).
This release contains certain “forward-looking statements”, which can be identified by the use of terminology such as “well positioned”, “strengthen”, “recovery”, “future”, “to plan”, “master”, “convinced” or similar wording. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Group to differ materially from those expressed or implied. These include risks related to the success of and demand for the Group’s products, the potential for the Group’s products to become obsolete, the Group’s ability to defend its intellectual property, the Group’s ability to develop and commercialize new products in a timely manner, the dynamic and competitive environment in which the Group operates, the regulatory environment, changes in currency exchange rates, the Group’s ability to generate revenues and profitability, and the Group’s ability to realize its expansion projects in a timely manner. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in this report. Straumann is providing the information in this release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in it as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Straumann Group (SIX: STMN) is a global leader in implant and restorative dentistry and oral tissue regeneration. In collaboration with leading clinics, research institutes and universities, Straumann researches, develops and manufactures dental implants, instruments, prosthetics and tissue regeneration products for use in tooth replacement and restoration solutions or to prevent tooth loss. Straumann currently employs 2170 people worldwide and its products and services are available in more than 70 countries through its broad network of distribution subsidiaries and partners.