Deutsche Telekom - Shareholders approve dividend
This year's Shareholders' Meeting in the Lanxess Arena was the first with Tim Höttges as CEO. It ended after approximately nine hours. In his speech, the DT CEO looked back and forward. He emphasized that, as good as the bottom line was in 2013, "it would be irresponsible to rest on our laurels."
The dominance of companies from the USA or Asia in other industries including those of semiconductor chips, devices and Internet services seem to be unassailable. The comparison of the telecommunications industry in Europe with those in other economic regions in the world is also a reason for great concern. Worldwide data traffic and the associated revenues are growing in Asia and in the USA whereas in Europe they are falling. "It stops us investing," said Höttges.
Responsibility from Europe for Europe
Key communications services and the personal data that they provide would later be completely outside European control. "We are losing our digital sovereignty," warned Höttges, adding "I would like responsibility from Europe for Europe." He demanded data privacy standards with the same terms and conditions for telecommunications and Internet companies.
Deutsche Telekom is responding to the global challenges - so-called Industry 4.0 - with its strategic goal of becoming the leading European telecommunications provider. This further developed strategy was also in focus in later discussions. The vast majority of shareholder representatives support the company's strategic direction.
They also explicitly praised the new DT CEO for his speech and his presence on stage. Marc Tüngler, from DSW, a Germany-based association for private investors, called Tim Höttges "the right man for the job." Looking at the financial figures, promises were kept and trust has been built. "You say what you are going to do and do what you say."
Call to catch up in Europe
Lars Labryga, from German investors' association SdK, welcomed Höttges' rallying cry for Europe to catch up and called on politicians to take action. Who else, if not DT, could or should warn people about this undesirable development.
Referring to possible mergers in the USA, Höttges remarked that "The decisive point is the view taken by the U.S. competition authorities." Were it to come to a streamlining on the market, T-Mobile US would be in "an excellent position."
Shareholders approved all of the proposals made by both the Board of Management and Supervisory Board. DT shareholders will receive a dividend of 0.5 euros per share for 2013. The amount was announced already in 2012. Shareholders, can again this year opt to receive their dividends in the form of DT shares, rather than in cash.
More info at Deutsche Telekom website
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