- Record levels in earnings and profitability during FY 2018
- Dividend of 1.85 euros per preferred share proposed (record +3.4% increase)
- The implementation of strategic priorities made very good progress
- Full-year outlook 2019 confirmed
DÜSSELDORF, 8-Apr-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — Henkel is holding its Annual General Meeting today in the CCD Congress Center in Düsseldorf/Germany. Key developments of the fiscal year 2018 as well as what progress has been made in implementing the company’s strategic priorities have been presented by Henkel CEO Hans Van Bylen.
Focus has been put on the growth initiatives the company has announced at the beginning of the year. Hans Van Bylen pointed out at the highest dividend ever paid in the company’s history and the outlook for the current fiscal year 2019 has been confirmed as well.
Henkel CEO Hans Van Bylen:
“Henkel is financially very healthy. In 2018, we continued to deliver profitable growth for Henkel. We achieved good organic growth with new highs in earnings and profitability. That is why we proposed to the Annual General Meeting a record dividend of 1.85 euros per preferred share. This is a result of the commitment of our around 53,000 employees. Their dedication, their entrepreneurial spirit and their customer focus are the foundation for the successful development of our company in 2018. Therefore, on behalf of the entire Management Board, I would like to express my gratitude to our employees.”
Acknowledging the achievements of the Management Board and the employees in the fiscal year 2018, Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah, Chairwoman of the Shareholders’ Committee and the Supervisory Board, thanked them.
Kathrin Menges, having spent more than 20 years with Henkel, has also been acknowledged and thanked by Hans Van Bylen and Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah. She has been a member of the Henkel Management Board since 2011, responsible for Human Resources, Infrastructure Services and Sustainability. Sylvie Nicol will succeed Kathrin Menges in the Management Board on April 9, 2019.
The Annual General Meeting was presented with a dividend increase proposal. The dividend increase proposed is 3.4 percent for both share classes to 1.85 euros per preferred share and 1.83 euros per ordinary share. This increase represents a new record level for dividend paid by Henkel. In this regard, Henkel has announced to increase the bandwidth of the dividend payout ratio to 30 to 40 percent from previously 25 to 35 percent.
Commenting on the dividend increase, Hans Van Bylen said: “These represent new highs. This reflects our commitment to delivering attractive returns for our shareholders. We will continue this path going forward.”
According to Hans Van Bylen, Henkel continues to operate in a challenging market environment which is characterized by uncertainties and volatility.
Commenting on the the economic environment in the current fiscal year as well as on the expectations, Hans Van Bylen, Henkel CEO, said further: Overall, we expect the currency effects to become weaker in fiscal 2019 compared to the prior year. But we still expect a negative impact in the low single-digit percentage range. We also anticipate an increase of commodity prices in the low single-digit percentage range.”
Confirming the outlook for the fiscal year 2019, Hans Van Bylen added that the organic sales growth, Henkel expects, is of between 2 and 4 percent. The adjusted EBIT margin for Henkel is expected to be in the 6 to 17 percent range while the adjusted EPS development is expected to be in the mid-single percentage range below prior year at constant exchange rates.
Commenting on the Henkel 2020+ Hans Van Bylen said that the company has made very good progress in implementing its strategy and successfully realized key strategic initiatives in all areas over the past two years. He added further: “We are pursuing a clear long-term strategy for Henkel: We want to generate sustainable profitable growth. Therefore, Henkel has defined four strategic priorities: drive growth, accelerate digitalization, increase agility and fund growth.”
To realize these goals, Henkel will step up investments by around 300 million euros annually from 2019 onwards.
Henkel CEO Hans Van Bylen called for a united appearance in Europe when commented on the European elections this May (2019). He added: “Europe is an economic area with around 500 million people. We have a clear interest in a strong Europe. That’s what we are committed to. Even if there is much to do and much must evolve. So that Europe will continue to be successful in international competition in the future and to stand for peace and prosperity.”
When it comes to social responsibility, Henkel has been with leading position in the field of sustainability for many years. Henkel’s achievements have again been recognized in various rankings and ratings during 2018. Hans Van Bylen added: “Sustainable thinking and action are part of our corporate culture and values. We see sustainable action as a competitive advantage.”
The responsible use of plastics is of a particular focus for Henkel. The company’s ambitious goals in this area are fully recyclable packaging and a higher proportion of recycled plastics. Henkel is also deeply involved in projects like ‘Plastic Bank’ and the ‘Alliance to End Plastic Waste’. According to Hans Van Bylen, however, a solution to this challenge could only be achieved together.
Hans Van Bylen, when commenting on the importance of diversity at Henkel, said that diverse workforce is a clear success factor. He said:
“We operate in over 100 countries around the world and we promote diversity within the company. For us, having a diverse workforce is a clear success factor. This relates not just to different nationalities and cultures. But also to the proportion of women in our workforce. “Here, Henkel holds a top position in the DAX,” added Hans Van Bylen.