Also decided at the meetings was what to do about Porsche's stake in Volkswagen. The Supervisory Board (minus the three members of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board) gave the go-ahead to increase the company's share in Volkswagen from 27.4 to a maximum of 29.9 percent. They apparently feel that the VW law will be overturned at an upcoming public hearing, allowing them to exceed the current 25 percent rule.
The contract of Porsche's President and CEO, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking was also extended. Smart move. The Supervisory Board agreed to adding a 4th 5-year term to Wiedeking's tenure. He has helped Porsche navigate one of its bleakest periods and keeping him at the helm guarantees continuity and stability. Full release after the jump.
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Contract for Porsche's CEO Wiedeking extended
Stuttgart. Pre-tax Group profit for the 2005/2006 fiscal year (to July 31), as approved by the Supervisory Board of Stuttgart-based Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG at its meeting today, rose to 2.110 (previous year: 1.238) billion Euros. Porsche has thus reported yet another record profit and is continuing on its growth path. Especially pleasing is the fact that there was a stronger increase in profit from vehicle sales than in the respective turnover, primarily thanks to an improved model mix.
The above-average surge in profit was, however, the result of one-off effects and special items, including the sale of CTS Fahrzeug-Dachsysteme GmbH, Bietigheim-Bissingen, with a book gain of 80.7 million Euros, profit from the Group's investment in Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, accounting for 203 million Euros, and earnings from share price hedging in connection with the purchase of VW shares which alone made a contribution to profit easily of the order of triple digit millions.
The Group's surplus (after-tax profit) rose in the year under review to 1.393 (previous year: 0.779) billion Euros. Profit per share amounted to 78.10 (44.68) Euros per common share and 78.22 (44.74) Euros per preferred share.
As with Group profit, the pre-tax profit of Porsche AG increased in the period under review, reaching 1.668 (previous year: 0.872) billion Euros. The annual surplus for Porsche AG rose to 1.254 (0.528) billion Euros. Porsche shareholders will also benefit from this. It will be proposed to the shareholders' general meeting to be held in the new Porsche Arena on January 26, 2007, to increase the dividend to 5.94 (4.94) Euros per common share and six (five) Euros per preferred share. There will also be a further recommendation to pay a special dividend of three Euros per common and preferred share to balance high one-off earnings. The amount distributed would thus increase to around 157 (87) million Euros, representing a rise of 80 percent.
It will further be proposed to the shareholders' meeting to create an authorised capital of 22.75 million Euros, representing 8.75 million ordinary and preference shares. The Executive Board would then be in a position to increase the share capital within the next five years by a maximum of 22.75 million Euros by issuing new shares on one or more occasions. Authorised capital is a standard tool that most listed companies have in their statutes. Through the authorised capital, Porsche secures for itself additional means to raise in a flexible manner additional capital at any time or to use shares as consideration in the context of acquisitions.
It is proposed that the Executive Board will be authorised, subject to the Supervisory Board's consent, to exclude shareholders' subscription rights if new ordinary shares are issued against contributions in kind in the context of acquisitions. A particular transaction for which the authorised capital is intended to be used is currently not on the agenda.
In a separate decision, the Supervisory Board – in the absence of the three members of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking and Holger P. Haerter – authorized the Executive Board to increase the share in Volkswagen AG to a maximum 29.9 percent. The Executive and Supervisory Boards of Porsche assume that the VW law will be overturned. The public hearing will take place at the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg on December 12, 2006. The Porsche share in Volkswagen exceeded 25 percent, and is thus subject to the notification procedure. It now stands at 27.4 percent.
At today's meeting, the Supervisory Board dealt with the departure of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Prof. Dr. Helmut Sihler, and Supervisory Board member Dr. Walther Zügel (73), effective with the closing of the shareholders' general meeting on January 26, 2007. Prof. Ulrich Lehner (60), Chairman of the Executive Board at Henkel KGaA, Düsseldorf, and Hans-Peter Porsche (63), shareholder in Porsche AG and in Porsche Holding, Salzburg, are to be nominated to the shareholders' general meeting for election as his successor. The owner families and the Supervisory Board express their sincere thanks to both departing Supervisory Board members for their dedicated service to the company.
The Supervisory Board also extended the contract of the President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Wendelin Wiedeking (54), by a further five years. He will therefore enter his fourth five-year term as President and Chief Executive Officer. Prof. Helmut Sihler: "Dr Wiedeking stands for continuity and guarantees the continued success of Porsche AG. Over the last 15 years, he has led Porsche out of crisis to an exceptionally solid economic position, thereby laying the foundations for the company's continued prosperous development. His name represents both solidity and growth – a course which the Supervisory Board unanimously agrees Dr. Wiedeking should continue to pursue."