A shareholders meeting is Stora Enso's highest decision-making body. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held annually in order to present detailed information about the company's performance and to deal with matters such as adopting the previous year’s income statement and balance sheet, setting of dividend and its payment, and appointing members of the Board of Directors and the Auditor.
Stora Enso’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on 4 June 2020 at the Company's Head Office in Helsinki, Finland. In order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, a shareholder or his/her proxy representative could not be present at the venue of the meeting. A total of 2,488 shareholders representing approximately 468 million shares and 192 million votes were represented at the meeting. The AGM supported all the proposals by the Shareholders’ Nomination Board and the Board of Directors by at least 91 percent of the votes cast. The AGM adopted the accounts for 2019 and granted the Company’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer discharge from liability for the period.
The AGM approved the proposal by the Board of Directors that the Company distributes a dividend of EUR 0.15 per share for the year 2019.
The dividend shall be paid to shareholders who on the record date of the dividend payment, Monday 8 June 2020, are recorded in the shareholders’ register maintained by Euroclear Finland Oy or in the separate register of shareholders maintained by Euroclear Sweden AB for Euroclear Sweden registered shares. Dividends payable for Euroclear Sweden registered shares will be forwarded by Euroclear Sweden AB and paid in Swedish crown. Dividends payable to ADR holders will be forwarded by Citibank N.A. and paid in US dollars.
The AGM approved the proposal by the Board of Directors that the dividend be paid on or about Monday 15 June 2020.
In addition, the AGM approved the proposal that the Board of Directors to decide at its discretion on the payment of dividend up to a maximum of EUR 0.35 per share. A resolution on the distribution of a dividend will be made at a later stage when it is possible to make a more reliable estimate on the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Stora Enso’s business and liquidity.
The AGM approved the proposal that of the current members of the Board of Directors – Jorma Eloranta, Elisabeth Fleuriot, Hock Goh, Mikko Helander, Christiane Kuehne, Antti Mäkinen, Richard Nilsson and Hans Stråberg – be re-elected members of the Board of Directors until the end of the following AGM and that Håkan Buskhe be elected new member of the Board of Directors for the same term of office. The AGM elected Jorma Eloranta as Chair of the Board of Directors and Hans Stråberg as Vice Chair.
Read more: Stora Enso’s Annual General Meeting and decisions by the Board of Directors, available in the document library below.
Shareholders were able to send questions to the Annual General Meeting by email until 19 May 2020.
What is the situation in Guangxi - is the factory built and is it operating at full capacity?
Yes, Stora Enso’s consumer board mill in Beihai, in the Guangxi region in China was inaugurated in 2016. Today the mill is operating at full capacity, which is about 500.000 tonnes of consumer boards per year.
How large areas of land does the company manage there?
Stora Enso leases 81 000 hectares of land in Guangxi province. For more information about Stora Enso’s forest holdings, see our website. More information about Stora Enso’s community work in Guangxi can be found in the Company’s Annual Report 2019 (page 24).
The company decided to reduce the dividend payment to EUR 0.15. What was the view of the largest shareholders Solidium, Kela, Varma, Ilmarinen and Keuda in this situation?
Stora Enso’s Board of Directors’ dividend proposal to the Annual General Meeting based on the results of the financial year 2019 is EUR 0.15. The AGM will decide on the payment on 4 June 2020. All shareholders of the Company may participate in the meeting and exercise their rights through voting in advance.
The resolutions of the AGM will be published after the meeting on 4 June. The minutes of the AGM will be available on Stora Enso’s website no later than on 18 June 2020.
How does the company's Board of Directors justify ethically and morally the decision to reduce the dividend payment in the situation of the Corona crisis, when the need for state funding is certainly high?
Stora Enso’s Board of Directors decided to change its dividend proposal to EUR 0.15 per share due the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on trading conditions. In addition, the BOD proposes to the AGM that the BOD would be authorised to decide at its discretion on a dividend payment of a maximum of EUR 0.35 to be distributed in one or several instalments at a later stage when it is possible to make a more reliable estimate on the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Stora Enso’s business and liquidity.
When deciding on the new dividend proposal the Board considered various aspects, amongst those the so-called minimum dividend according to Chapter 13, Section 7 of the Finnish Companies Act. The Board decided on a proposal for an immediate dividend payment corresponding to the minimum dividend while leaving room for considering all relevant aspects known at such time when making a decision on a possible additional dividend payment at a later stage assuming that the Annual General Meeting approves of the Board’s proposal.
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