The 685 shareholders attending the AGM voted in favor of all motions by a large majority. Among the approved proposals was the distribution of a share dividend. In their remarks, Chairman of the Board of Directors Rolf Soiron and CEO Markus Akermann both underlined that the Group is well prepared for the current crisis. A strong balance sheet, sufficient liquidity and systematic cost management ensure that Holcim after the crisis will be stronger than Holcim before the crisis.
Representing some 48.5 percent of the company's share capital, the 685 shareholders attending the 97th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of Holcim Ltd approved all the motions put forward by the Board of Directors by a large majority.
Among the proposals approved was the distribution of a share dividend. Each shareholder will receive one tradable subscription right for every registered share held. 20 subscription rights will entitle the holder to one free new Holcim share, which will be entitled to the dividend for the full 2009 financial year. The subscription rights will be traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange from May 12 up to and including May 19, 2009. Approximately one third of the consolidated profit attributable to shareholders of Holcim Ltd will thus be distributed as a dividend. The required ordinary share capital increase of CHF 26.4 million to CHF 554 million was also approved.
In their remarks, Chairman of the Board of Directors Rolf Soiron and CEO Markus Akermann emphasized that last year Holcim was quick to implement the necessary corrective measures in the markets hit by the crisis. Top priority is being given to stringent cost management. Holcim today has one of the strongest balance sheets in the construction materials industry and will remain an attractive, financially sound company. Soiron and Akermann are convinced that Holcim will emerge from the crisis stronger than before and profit significantly from the next economic upswing.
Board members Adrian Loader, Thomas Schmidheiny, Wolfgang Schürer and Dieter Spälti were confirmed in office for a further term of three years. At the AGM the Chairman bade farewell to Lord Fowler, who had served on the Board since 2006 and did not stand for re-election on account of having reached the prescribed age limit. Rolf Soiron thanked him for his valuable services, also in connection with the integration of Aggregate Industries (UK and US) into the Holcim Group.
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For information on business results in the 1st quarter 2009, please see the media release dated May 6, 2009.
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Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services. The Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.
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