Financial and press releases
INDUS ASM: Holding company expects positive result for 2020
- Annual Shareholders’ Meeting resolves to distribute dividend of EUR 0.80 per share
- Shareholders approve authorization to buy and sell treasury shares
- First signs of recovery in sight for second half of the year
For the first time in the company’s history, the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of INDUS Holding AG was held as a purely virtual event today in order to protect the health of all participants. Up to 200 attended the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting online. “We were actually pleasantly surprised at how many people accompany us these days, also at our virtual Shareholders’ Meeting,” said Dr. Johannes Schmidt, Chairman of the Board of Management of INDUS. Shareholders were able to ask their questions in the run-up to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting and submitted a total of 79 questions to the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board. The speech of the Chairman of the Board of Management was published (in German) on the company’s website one week prior to the ASM.
At the meeting proper, the shareholders approved the proposal by the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board and resolved to distribute a dividend of EUR 0.80 per share (previous year: EUR 1.50). This is equivalent to a payout volume of 24.6 percent of the profit and a total dividend payout of EUR 19.6 million. The company thus underlines its reliability as a dividend-paying stock, while at the same time responding to the challenges of the times and strengthening its own cash position. On 31 December 2019, the distributable profit of INDUS Holding AG amounted to EUR 79.6 million.
In his speech, Dr. Johannes Schmidt explained that thanks to the Group’s broad-based positioning, INDUS rests on a stable foundation even in the current difficult economic situation: “Even if things turn to the worse again this year – the majority of our companies have very good prospects for the future. The INDUS Group rests on a robust foundation.” He added that the company has no intention of taking advantage of state aid in 2020. Schmidt also emphasized, however, that the company will have to constantly readjust its actions in such a crisis situation.
PARKOUR strategy program setting the course
The PARKOUR strategy program was launched under the impression of slower global economic growth and is now proving to be a reliable guide in the current situation, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. The PARKOUR module “Strengthen the portfolio” provides not only for the acquisition of new companies but also for the strengthening of the existing portfolio. Consequently, INDUS has adopted a set of measures to optimize its portfolio in 2020. In keeping with the “best owner” principle, the Group also divests individual entities
that have better future prospects under another owner and initiates closures if restructuring efforts fail to produce the desired results. “Sales are made only in isolated cases and are not a strategic element of our business model,” emphasized Dr. Johannes Schmidt. “Our actions continue to be guided by the principle of ‘buy, hold and develop’.”
The PARKOUR module “Operational Excellence” focuses on increasing the performance and optimizing all value-adding processes and is now gaining importance once again. In the meantime, all European locations have been audited and individual action plans have been developed together with the portfolio companies’ management teams. In the context of the PARKOUR module “Drive innovation”, INDUS continues to operate the innovation development bank, which has achieved the first successes.
Additions to the Engineering and Metals Technology segments
In the fiscal year 2019, INDUS made two first-tier acquisitions. MESUTRONIC Gerätebau GmbH, one of the technology leaders in the field of metal and contaminant detection in production, has already made a positive contribution to the segment result. Dessauer Schaltschrank und Gehäusetechnik, a specialist for high-quality metal and sheet metal parts, was added to the portfolio in September 2019. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the M&A market for typical INDUS target companies has calmed down considerably in the fiscal year to date. The Group nevertheless aims to make regular company acquisitions – also in 2020.
First signs of recovery in the second half of 2020
In the first half of 2020, four of the five portfolio segments were considerably impacted by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic – with the corresponding adverse impact on revenues and earnings in April and May. “In June we are already seeing the first signs of recovery. Thanks to our geographical and sectoral diversification as well as our financial stability, we will master this challenge, too,” emphasized Schmidt. For the full year, the INDUS Group projects sales revenues of between EUR 1.45 billion and EUR 1.6 billion. The expectations for the operating result (EBIT) after impairments are between EUR 0 million and EUR 20 million, assuming that no second lockdown will be imposed. “2020 is very different from anything we have seen before. But we are making good use of this time and are doing everything necessary to ensure that we can take off again without any burdens,” said Schmidt.
All agenda items adopted by a large majority of the shareholders
In voting on the agenda, a large majority of the Shareholders’ Meeting approved the proposals made by the management. The actions of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board were approved and the dividend proposal accepted. About 55% of the share capital was virtually represented at the 2020 Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting of INDUS. With a view to giving the company maximum flexibility in the future, the shareholders approved a new authorization of the Board of Management to buy treasury shares and to sell treasury shares in ex-rights issues by 12 August 2025.
Further information on the Shareholders’ Meeting, the speech (in German) by the Chairman of the Board of Management Dr. Johannes Schmidt and the voting results can be found here.