DGAP-Ad-hoc: freenet AG / Key word(s): Dividend
freenet Group's Management Board and Supervisory Board propose one-time suspension of dividend - Virtual AGM to be held on 27 May 2020
Büdelsdorf, 03 May 2020. The coronavirus crisis is leading to massive economic turbulence and restrictions on public life worldwide. Nevertheless, the freenet Group also reported very solid figures for the first quarter of 2020 in a separate corporate news today. On this basis, and taking into account the effects of COVID-19, business development for the year 2020 is currently expected to continue in line with the guidance issued in February 2020.
Nevertheless, it is not yet possible to predict the extent to which the global supply shock induced by so-called lockdowns will translate into a systemic economic crisis that will affect the labour market, the banking sector and, even more so than before, the financial market. Against this backdrop, the short-term refinancing requirements for promissory notes amounting to approx. 700 million euros in October 2020 and March 2021 could pose financial challenges for the freenet Group.
For this reason, the freenet AG Management Board and Supervisory Board have decided to propose to the Annual General Meeting on 27 May 2020, apart from the mandatory minimum dividend of 0.04 euros per share, the one-time retention of retained earnings (suspension of dividend). This is intended to maintain the financial stability and flexibility of the Group in order to remain able to act even if the situation should deteriorate. For the future, the company stands by its current dividend policy, which provides for a payout of at least 80 per cent of free cash flow.
In addition, the freenet AG Executive Board and Supervisory Board today decided to make use of the new regulations of the so-called COVID-19 Act for the Annual General Meeting and to conduct the Annual General Meeting virtually on 27 May 2020.
Further details can also be found in the interim statement, management presentation and corporate news published today. In addition, freenet AG will host an analysts' conference call at 10:00 CEDT on 4 May 2020, during which the management will comment in detail on the current situation.
03-May-2020 CET/CEST The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
|Phone:||+49 (0)40 51306-778|
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|WKN:||A0Z2ZZ , A1KQXU|
|Listed:||Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange|
|EQS News ID:||1035019|
|End of Announcement||DGAP News Service|
1035019 03-May-2020 CET/CEST