2,998 shareholders attended the Nestlé S.A. Annual General Meeting today in Lausanne. They represented 49.78 percent of the total capital and 70.64 percent of the shares entitled to vote. The annual report and the accounts were approved and the shareholders agreed to the release of the Board of Directors and the Management. The Nestlé Compensation Report was accepted in a separate advisory vote, in line with the Swiss Code of Best Practice for Corporate Governance. The shareholders further approved the proposed dividend of CHF 2.05 per share. All proposals of the Board of Directors were approved with strong majorities.
Shareholders re-elected Mr Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Mr Steven G. Hoch, Ms Titia de Lange and Mr Jean-Pierre Roth to the Board, each for a further term of three years, and elected Ms Eva Cheng as a new member of the Board for a three-year term. Ms. Cheng is the former Corporate Executive Vice President responsible for Greater China and Southeast Asia Region of Amway Corporation, a U.S. based global consumer product company. Mr André Kudelski who had reached the end of his third term was not standing for re-election. The Board thanked him for his highly appreciated services provided to Nestlé over the past twelve years.
At the meeting, Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe highlighted Nestlé’s commitment to Switzerland: “Nestlé’s production in Switzerland accounts for roughly 5% of global turnover, of which nearly 80% is exported. Of our 339,000 employees worldwide, more than 10,000 are employed in Switzerland. This modest share should not belittle the fact that over the last ten years, we have created 3,500 jobs in Switzerland, at a time when employment in the food industry has been stagnant. We have invested significantly here in this country, more than CHF 3.2 billion over the last ten years. More than 60% of our worldwide R&D expenditure is in Switzerland.”
Mr Brabeck-Letmathe’s address also touched on the “Minder Initiative”, adopted in March by the Swiss population. He said: “It is now crucial to respect the Swiss electorate’s decision and to find practical legislative solutions which safeguard the long-term attractiveness of Switzerland as a business location. The political and regulatory environment for publicly listed companies is becoming more difficult in this country. We must find a new consensus between the economy, politics and society. Efforts need to be made on all sides to deepen mutual understanding and to find the right balance. Nestlé wants to stay in Switzerland. Nestlé – the management and the employees – want to continue to feel welcome in this country and contribute to its success story, not only today, but also in the future.”
Furthermore, Mr Brabeck-Letmathe addressed the new societal challenges the food industry as a whole is faced with. He pointed out that, with its long-term orientation to be the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company, Nestlé is uniquely positioned to make a positive contribution to meeting the nutrition and health challenges a growing and ageing population is facing.
After reviewing the Group’s 2012 results, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke again underlined Nestlé’s ambition to be the recognised leader in Nutrition, Health and Wellness: “Nutrition is at the heart of Nestlé. We want to offer our consumers tastier and healthier food and beverage choices, and this at all stages of their life and at any time of the day. In this way, we help consumers care for themselves and their families, everywhere in the world. This is the foundation of our promise ‘Good Food, Good Life’, which puts nutrition at the centre of everything we do. It is this strategy that differentiates us from our competitors, that differentiates our brands. It is this strategy that creates value for our consumers, that creates value for society, that creates value for our Company.”
For the year to come, the Board and its different Committees will be composed as follows:
Board of Directors
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Paul Bulcke, Andreas Koopmann, Rolf Hänggi, Beat Hess, Daniel Borel, Jean-Pierre Meyers, Steven G. Hoch, Naina Lal Kidwai, Titia de Lange, Jean-Pierre Roth, Ann M. Veneman, Henri de Castries, Eva Cheng
Chairman's and Corporate Governance Committee
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Paul Bulcke, Andreas Koopmann, Rolf Hänggi, Beat Hess
Daniel Borel, Andreas Koopmann, Jean-Pierre Meyers, Jean-Pierre Roth
Andreas Koopmann, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Steven G. Hoch, Ann M. Veneman
Rolf Hänggi, Naina Lal Kidwai, Henri de Castries
The Chairman's and the CEO’s addresses to the AGM can be found on the Nestlé Corporate Website.
For more information about Nestlé in Society, see our new Creating Shared Value report.
Media: Robin Tickle Tel.: +41 21 924 22 00
Investors: Roddy Child-Villiers Tel.: +41 21 924 36 22
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