The AGM registered a quorum of 74.12% and all the proposed resolutions were passed by an average of 98%
Iberdrola shareholders back the re-election of Ignacio Galán as group Chairman
Galán used his speech at the AGM to give a summary of a “historic” year which once again demonstrated that “the strong commitment to caring for our environment is absolutely compatible with our business plan, with growth, with profitability and with the creation of value”
- Highest dividend in the history of the company: it will pay a dividend for 2018 of €0.351 gross per share, to which can be added an AGM attendance bonus of €0.005 gross per share
- Positive share price outcome: the group now exceeds €50bn in market capitalisation and the total profitability for shareholders in the year sits at 31.9% since the last AGM, compared to the 17% of Eurostoxx Utilities and the fall of the 2.4 % of the Ibex 35
- Contribution to world and national wealth: Iberdrola contributed €32.3bn to world GDP. In Spain the figure was €10.6bn, 1.01% of national product.
- Substantial tax contribution to society: The group injected €7.9bn into the public coffers globally, €3.6bn in Spain alone, and its annual purchases totalled €8bn
- An engine for stable and quality employment: the company creates jobs for over 425,000 people the world over, and hired 3,500 in 2018, to make a total of 34,000 professionals on its staff
- Commitment to sustainable development: Galán reiterated that Iberdrola has incorporated the UN Agenda 2030 SDGs into its strategy and corporate bylaws as part of its social dividend
- A gender equality benchmark: following today's approval of the incorporation onto the Board of Directors of the Economics Professor Sara de la Rica, Iberdrola confirms its position as the Ibex 35 company with the highest percentage of women at its top level of management
Iberdrola's shareholders have given majority backing to the re-election of Ignacio Galán as Chairman of the group for a period of four years, a proposal listed in point 18 of the AGM´s agenda, held today in the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao.
The meeting, attended by 74.12% of Iberdrola's social capital, today also passed all the proposed resolutions included in the agenda with an average of 98% votes in favour split as follows:
- Group 1 (annual accounts and corporate management): 99.2%.
- Group 2 (Corporate Governance System): 99.9%
- Group 3 (remuneration): 98.3%.
- Group 4 (Board of Directors): 98.2%.
During his presentation to shareholders, Ignacio Galán reviewed a “historic” 2018 in which the company for the first time surpassed €3bn net profit, i.e. €3.01bn, 7.5% more than in 2017, and achieved a gross operating profit (Ebitda) of €9.35bn, 28% more than in the previous financial year.
On the subject of the results achieved, Ignacio Galán declared that “this demonstrates once again that a firm commitment to caring for the environment is absolutely compatible with our business plan - with growth, profitability and with the creation of value for all of you”.
As the company Chairman explained, this favourable outcome has allowed the company Board to propose to the AGM “the highest dividend paid to date”: €0.351 gross per share for the 2018 financial year, 7.7% more than the previous year.
This amount results from adding the €0.151 gross per share already paid last February as an interim dividend to the at least €0.20 gross per share to be paid as an additional dividend next July. Additionally, this amount will be enhanced by the €0.005 gross per share as a bonus for attending the AGM.
The increasing shareholder return, in line with the good results, plus the positive progress in Iberdrola's share price have put total shareholder profitability (RTA) at 31.9% since the last General Meeting, compared to the 17% of Eurostoxx Utilities and the fall of the 2.4% of the Ibex 35.
Since the updating of the Strategic Outlook 2018-2022 on 26 February in London, the performance of Iberdrola's shares has been particularly positive: the company now exceeds €50bn in market capitalisation, a sign of the confidence the market has in the group's plan and strategy for the coming years.
Ignacio Galán also mentioned the significant investments made by Iberdrola: “In 2018 we invested €5.3bn, one of the highest amounts recorded by the group in a single financial year, bringing total investment to over €20bn in the last five years”.
On this subject, the €34bn investment forecast for 2018-2022 equates to an annual average of €7bn over the next 4 years.
All of this will allow the company to continue to improve its results forecasts. For 2022, as its Chairman confirmed, the company expects to achieve an Ebitda in excess of €12bn and a net profit of between €3.7bn and €3.9bn, an increase of 30% over 2018.
These forecasts allow for progress on the setting of a minimum annual dividend which will reach €0.40 gross per share for 2022. “A figure that could increase in line with growing results” as Ignacio Galán pointed out.
Climate change and social dividend
During his speech to shareholders, Ignacio Galán made special reference to the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that Iberdrola has incorporated into its strategy and corporate bylaws, as part of its social dividend. “Sustainability in the long term, in its broadest sense, comes from equilibrium in the satisfaction of everyone's interests”, he explained.
Galán reiterated the “urgency” of acting against climate change before the consequences are “irreversible”. The Chairman of Iberdrola said “it falls to each public and private actor, to work together in harmony to turn this global threat into an opportunity to improve competitiveness and economic growth for the benefit of all”.
Referring to the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan put forward by the Government of Spain, Ignacio Galán gave a positive judgement on its content: “An ambitious and tough plan, but achievable; it can put us in a privileged position in the energy transformation process”.
After recalling the company's leadership in renewables, with an installed capacity approaching 30,000 megawatts (MW), and its commitment to the reduction of polluting emissions, where intensity is already 75% lower than that of the European utilities average, Galán reviewed the financial and social contributions of the group.
The company contributed €32.3bn to world GDP. In Spain the figure was €10.69bn, 1.01% of national product.
Iberdrola's tax contribution reached €7.9bn in 2018, of which €3.6bn are attributable to Spain. The group made purchases to the value of €8bn from thousands of suppliers the world over, of which some €1.7bn went to Spanish companies.
Iberdrola continues to be an engine of stable and quality employment. The group creates jobs for over 425,000 people throughout the world, 81,500 of them in Spain. In addition, in 2018 alone, it hired 3,500 new people and took on 1,400 young people in placements, bringing the total number of staff to 34,000 workers.
Iberdrola, a benchmark in gender equality
Ignacio Galán made special reference to the group's commitment to gender equality, in line with SDG 5 of the United Nations.
Especially relevant on this topic is the approval today by the AGM of the incorporation on the Company Executive Board of the Economics Professor, Sara de la Rica.
Her appointment makes Iberdrola the Ibex 35 company with the highest percentage of women on its Board of Directors (42.8%). It means that 50% of its independent executives are now women, including the vice president, Inés Macho and the presidents of two of the four Board committees: Mª Helena Antolín (Appointments Committee) and Samantha Barber (Sustainable Development Committee).
The General Meeting has also approved the re-election of the following independent board members: Xabier Sagredo, Mª Helena Antolín, José W. Fernández, Denise Holt and Manuel Moreu.