THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR COMPLETE OR PARTIAL PUBLICATION OR DISCLOSURE TO OR WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN OR OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE SUCH PUBLICATION OR DISCLOSURE WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF APPLICABLE LEGAL PROVISIONS. THIS PUBLICATION IS NEITHER AN OFFER TO BUY OR SELL NOR AN INVITATION TO TENDER AN OFFER TO BUY OR SELL CLASS A SHARES OR SUBSCRIPTION RIGHTS OF HAMBURGER HAFEN UND LOGISTIK AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT.
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is enabling its shareholders to participate in the economically successful 2019 financial year while at the same time securing financial manoeuvrability for further strengthening the company’s future viability in view of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. At the Annual General Meeting, the shareholders voted today by large majority in favour of the scrip dividend proposed by the Supervisory Board and Executive Board. In times of zero or negative interest, this innovative model will provide shareholders with the opportunity to quickly and easily reinvest their capital in the company. At the same time, this allows HHLA to maintain stable financial liquidity even in challenging times with limited forecasting reliability.
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board: “HHLA closed the 2019 financial year very successfully and also achieved a positive result in the first half of 2020 – even during a serious economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We have a solid financial base. Therefore, we can keep our word to our shareholders and take into account their legitimate interest in an appropriate participation in the economic success of the company. Their recommendation enables HHLA to remain faithful to the dividend policy it has followed since its initial public offering in 2007, which stipulates a distribution of 50 to 70 percent of the net profit. We very much welcome the fact that our majority shareholder, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, has already decided to receive a dividend in the form of new HHLA shares. We consider this as a clear sign that our shareholder has a long-term interest in strengthening Hamburg’s maritime location. We would be pleased if many other shareholders followed this example and also chose to receive a dividend in the form of new HHLA shares by 7 September. We are aware of the associated mandate to seize every opportunity to further increase the value of the company.”
The Annual General Meeting, which took place virtually due to the government regulations regarding large gatherings, today approved the dividend proposal of the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board with 99.9 percent of the votes cast. In order to allow the shareholders to participate in the economic success of the 2019 financial year without financially overwhelming HHLA during the global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Annual General Meeting resolved to lower the dividend to € 0.70 per listed Class A share. This corresponds to a reduction of 12.5 percent as compared to the dividend for 2018. At 52 percent of the profit after tax and minority interests, the distribution ratio has remained within the target dividend payout range of 50 to 70 percent since the initial public offering. The shareholders of the Port Logistics subgroup will receive a total dividend of € 49.0 million in cash or in shares.
To provide HHLA with additional room to manoeuvre for its successful further development, the shareholders accepted the proposal of the Supervisory Board and Executive Board for a scrip dividend. It gives the shareholders the option of receiving their dividend in cash or in shares. Thanks to this innovative model, shareholders will have the opportunity to quickly and easily reinvest their capital in the company in times of zero or negative interest. HHLA in turn stabilises its financial liquidity.
Just as in the previous year, the Annual General Meeting resolved to distribute € 2.10 per Class S share for the unlisted Real Estate subgroup. This amounts to a total of € 5.7 million. All of the Class S shares are held by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
The value of cash or Class A shares distributed as a dividend to the two subgroups for the last financial year reaches a combined total of € 54.7 million.
The shareholders formally approved the actions of both the HHLA Executive Board and the Supervisory Board during the 2019 financial year with 99.6 and 99.4 percent of the votes cast, respectively. The Annual General Meeting elected Andreas Rieckhof, State Secretary at the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, as new member of the Supervisory Board.
Approximately 300 shareholders took part in the virtual Annual General Meeting of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG on 20 August 2020. This corresponds to 83.1 percent of the share capital (previous year: 84.8 percent).
The voting results of the Annual General Meeting, the speech by the Chairwoman of the Executive Board, Angela Titzrath, and the accompanying presentation will be available on the HHLA website in the Investor Relations section under “Annual General Meeting” (www.hhla.de/agm).
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of the HHLA Executive Board, is opnening the virtual Annual General Meeting 2020.
Opening of the Virtual Annual General Meeting 2020 on HHLA premises. From left to right: HHLA Executive Board member Dr. Rainer Lappin, Chairman of the HHLA Supervisory Board Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Grube, HHLA Executive Board member Torben Seebold, Chairwoman of the Executive Board Angela Titzrath and HHLA Executive Board member Jens Hansen.
The A Shares and subscription rights of HHLA have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or with any securities regulators of any state or any other jurisdiction in the United States of America, Australia, Canada, or Japan. Accordingly, such securities may not be offered, sold, exercised, transferred, delivered or distributed, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States, Canada, Australia, or Japan or any other jurisdiction. There will be no public offering of securities in the United States, Australia, Canada, or Japan or in any jurisdiction in which such offers or sales are unlawful.
This press release has been issued by HHLA and/or its subsidiaries solely for information purposes. This press release may contain statements, assumptions, opinions and predictions about the anticipated future development of HHLA ("forward-looking statements") that reproduce various assumptions regarding, e.g., results derived from HHLA's current business or from publicly available sources that have not been subject to an independent audit or in-depth evaluation by HHLA and that may turn out to be incorrect at a later stage. All forward-looking statements express current expectations based on the current business plan and various other assumptions and therefore come with risks and uncertainties that are not insignificant. All forward-looking statements should not therefore be taken as a guarantee for future performance or results and, furthermore, do not necessarily constitute exact indicators that the forecast results will be achieved. All forward-looking statements relate solely to the day on which this press release was issued to its recipients. It is the responsibility of the recipients of this press release to conduct a more detailed analysis of the validity of forward-looking statements and the underlying assumptions. HHLA accepts no responsibility for any direct or indirect damages or losses or subsequent damages or losses, as well as penalties that the recipients may incur by using the press release, its contents and, in particular, all forward-looking statements or in any other way, as far as this is legally permissible. HHLA does not provide any guarantees or assurances (either explicitly or implicitly) in respect of the information contained in this press release. HHLA is not obliged to update or correct the information, forward-looking statements or conclusions drawn in this press release or to include subsequent events or circumstances or to report inaccuracies that become known after the date of this press release.