BKW growing successfully as a network
Eighth General Meeting of BKW AG
Despite the negative effects of electricity prices, BKW enjoyed a highly successful 2018 financial year. “The company strategy, which has been implemented since 2014 and focuses on customers and the market, has proved correct,” said Chairman of the Board Urs Gasche in his speech to shareholders at the General Meeting. Back in 2014, the CEO and Executive Board were tasked with developing a strategy that would stabilise the company, make it profitable again and increase its value. “All of this has been 100% achieved,” stated Urs Gasche. “Today, BKW is worth CHF 2 billion more than it was in 2014, and is in a robust position for the future.”
The BKW Chairman spoke about the remuneration model. BKW is one of the top service providers on the market. “In order to remain in this position, our remuneration policy needs to be at the same level as comparable listed companies,” says Urs Gasche. “It is logical and understandable to want to take corrective measures.” But he does not consider this fair, when the salary policy has been communicated and gradually implemented over many years. “It would be unthinkable to suddenly change conditions that have been accepted on all sides and contractually assured from the outset.”
Urs Gasche also underscored the significance of a framework agreement between Switzerland and the EU, a key prerequisite for an electricity agreement with the EU. Urs Gasche further welcomed the forthcoming decommissioning of the Mühleberg Nuclear Power Plant on 20 December 2019. “This step will enter the BKW annals as another pioneering achievement.”
Forward-thinking solutions for modern society
In her speech, CEO Suzanne Thoma addressed the difficult environment in the traditional energy business and the dramatic collapse in prices experienced by the electricity production business in recent years. But the fact that the business performed so well despite these conditions is proof that BKW’s transformation is working, according to the CEO.
She also pointed to the transformation in the Grid business. “An intelligent electricity grid is essential for overcoming the challenges of increasing volatility in electricity production,” said Suzanne Thoma.
BKW managed to offset low electricity prices which, as the CEO indicated, was driven by cost savings throughout the Group, and in particular the contribution of the Services business. “We are on the right path and have increased the operating profit for the Services business by an overproportionate 26 percent. This serves as proof that BKW doesn’t just acquire companies, it also consolidates and develops them.”
“BKW is growing successfully,” declared Suzanne Thoma, adding: “With an international service network that now encompasses over 100 companies, we offer forward-thinking solutions for the new challenges of modern society.”
Decisions of the General Meeting
The shareholders at the General Meeting re-confirmed all previous members of the Board of Directors. Andreas Rickenbacher remains the delegate for the canton of Bern. They also ratified the Management Report, Consolidated Financial Statements and Annual Financial Statements for 2018 and approved the Remuneration Report 2018. The General Meeting discharged the members of the Board of Directors for the 2018 financial year and approved the distribution of a dividend of CHF 1.80 per share as well as the maximum total remuneration for the Board of Directors and Executive Board for the period 2019/2020.
The results of the 2019 General Meeting as well as the speeches by BKW CEO Suzanne Thoma and BKW Chairman Urs Gasche will be available via the following link from 6 pm: www.bkw.ch/ga2019
You can find more information about the 2018 financial year www.bkw.ch/ar18 and in the Download Center. A video interview with BKW CEO Suzanne Thoma on the 2018 business year can be accessed via this link. Visual materials are available without restriction.
Impressive results are achieved through a strong network of people who pull together and combine their ideas. “Regional base, international reach, and together we are unbeatable” – BKW works with its customers to find the best solutions. Throughout the year, a video series will offer insight into solutions from the fields of expertise BKW Building Solutions, BKW Engineering, BKW Infra Services, BKW Energy and BKW Power Grid: www.bkw.ch/solutions