MUTTENZ, Switzerland – Specialty chemicals company Clariant announced that shareholders at the company’s 15th Annual General Meeting adopted each of the resolutions proposed by the Board of Directors.
More than 500 shareholders, representing roughly 25 percent of the share capital recorded in Clariant's share register, attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on March 29, 2010, in Basel, Switzerland.
The AGM approved the Annual Report of the company and discharged the corporate bodies of the company for their actions in the 2009 business year. It was also agreed that the financial loss Clariant sustained in 2009 be allocated to the free reserves. No dividend or similar payout to shareholders will be granted in 2010.
Professor Peter Chen, a member of the Board of Directors since 2006, was reelected for another three-year term. Furthermore, the shareholders approved amendments to the Articles of Association regarding a necessary adaptation to the new “Federal Act Securities held with an Intermediary (BEG).”
Clariant's Chairman, Jürg Witmer, highlighted the progress that has been achieved in 2009: “In the past year, we have made substantial progress in establishing a solid foundation for the company, but we still have a long way to go. Therefore, we must press ahead with our restructuring program. Our intention is to lay the basis for a sustainable return to profitable growth from 2011 onward. This is not only in the interest of our employees and our customers, but also of our shareholders. Clariant’s future will be only secured when our earnings reflect the actual performance potential of the company and the expectations of the capital markets.”
CEO Hariolf Kottmann stated that Clariant's achievements in 2009 are good but that fundamentally nothing has changed as the company's performance still clearly lags behind its peer group. He emphasized that there is no value-creating alternative but to continue the restructuring program in 2010 with its focus on improving cash and reducing cost and complexity.
Kottmann said, “In a continuously challenging economic climate, Clariant expects 2010 sales growth in local currencies in the moderate single-digit range. We are confident the continued restructuring measures will improve the company’s cost position, resulting in a positive impact on the operating result.” Kottmann further stated that 2010 is the second and last year of the restructuring program. The implementation of the program will lead to further headcount reductions.