STADA's 2003 Shareholders' Meeting: Looking forward to the eighth record year in a row
06/24/2003 . Press Release
The Shareholders' Meeting of STADA Arzneimittel AG, which was held today in the Congress Center Messe Frankfurt, appreciated the work of the company's Executive Board and Supervisory Board and highly approved the company's successful growth strategy. In the 2002 fiscal year under review, STADA reported record sales and earnings for the seventh year in a row.
Hartmut Retzlaff, Chairman of STADA's Executive Board, outlined the Group's comprehensive strategic and operational growth orientation and summarized it under the heading 'STADA - designed for growth'. In the global healthcare market, STADA concentrates on the three fast-growing and profitable core segments of generics (drugs whose patents have expired and which can therefore offer the same quality but for a much lower price), brands, and specialty pharmaceuticals. In all three core segments STADA avoids risky basic research into new drugs and instead develops equivalent or improved dosage forms of well-known active ingredients.
Retzlaff stressed in his speech that STADA's international distribution network had been substantially expanded in the past 18 months. The success of its sales, he claimed, was largely due to the strong organic growth of core businesses at its existing companies and to its acquisitions in the U.S., Spain, and Italy. Since the acquisition of the generic line Genus Pharmaceuticals in the U.K. in the first quarter of the current year, STADA has been represented in all major EU markets by its own local sales units. This enables STADA to adapt its sales and marketing operations to the respective prevailing national market conditions. At the same time STADA can increasingly benefit from the economies of scale in development and production by marketing its extensive and successful product range throughout the EU. "We will continue to strengthen our market position. To this end, we are investing substantially in marketing and sales in the many strong growth markets for generics“, Retzlaff outlined the Executive Board's strategy for the future.
On the back of STADA's good start to 2003 - the first quarter of this year was the best in the company's history in terms of both sales and earnings - Retzlaff continues to rate its prospects for the current year optimistically despite the risk of adverse effects from the local health policy: "We are on track for the eighth record year in a row.“
The Shareholders' Meeting also approved the proposal put forward by the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board for the appropriation of STADA's profits for fiscal 2002. Consequently, the dividend is to be raised again, to EUR 0.65 per ordinary share (2001: EUR 0.59), with EUR 8 million being allocated to retained earnings and a surplus of EUR 10.9 million being carried forward to the next period. This resolution will see the total dividend payout rise by 17 per cent to EUR 13.1 million (2001: EUR 11.0 million) owing to the increase in the number of shares in 2002. STADA will therefore be paying its shareholders the highest total dividend in the company's history for fiscal 2002.
The Shareholders' Meeting also approved all other motions proposed by the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board. Among other things, it voted to extend the existing authorization for the company to repurchase its own shares. Consequently, the company is now authorized for one more year, i.e. until December 23, 2004, to buy and sell its own shares up to a maximum of 10 per cent of its current share capital.
Dr. Eckhard Brüggemann, Uwe E. Flach, Dr. K. F. Arnold Hertzsch and Dieter Koch were re-elected to the Supervisory Board as shareholder representatives; Dr. Martin Abend and Constantin Meyer were newly elected as shareholder representatives.
You can find the results of all votes as well as the speech and presentation given by CEO Hartmut Retzlaff on the STADA website.
For more information, please contact:
STADA Arzneimittel AG
D-61118 Bad Vilbel
Tel.: +49 6101 603-113
Fax: +49 6101 603-506