Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 18th Annual General Meeting of the holding company Emsland-Stärke AG was not held this year as usual at the Kamps restaurant in Meppen, but rather it was held for the first time virtually via live stream and broadcast online via the Emsland Group homepage.
Better Orange IR & HV AG from Munich, which has already run many annual general meetings for Dax companies, oversaw and ensured the smooth running of our event. For all shareholders who followed live via the online portal, it was clear that the event was conducted professionally and competently.
The registered preferred shareholders experienced a highly informative Annual General Meeting. Gebhard Bakker, as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, chaired the Annual General Meeting. In addition to Mr. Bakker, the only other two members of the Supervisory Board present were Mr. Gerhard Deuling and Dr. Norbert Partmann. Furthermore, Dr. Jens Hausmann and Gerrit-Jan Wesselink, both members of the Management Board of the AG, were also present due to their contractual obligations. Mr. Herbert Lichtenberg, a representative of the Erzeugergemeinschaft für Industriekartoffeln im Emsland and the Grafschaft Bentheim r.V., as well as Mr. Lambert Vette were also present via video conference.
In the Management Board’s report, Mr. Wesselink first discussed the company's separate financial statements and then the consolidated financial statements of the Group for fiscal year 2019/20. He then proceeded to explain the development of sales revenues (an increase of 9.8%) and the EBIT margin, which was not able to hold on to the record level of the previous year, although this had been expected to be the case. Importantly, the Emsland Group's equity base remained at a stable, healthy level for fiscal year 2019/20.
Extensive investments made in fiscal year 2019/20 included, among others, the new dextrin plant in Kyritz and the flake factory in Hagenow, as well as the continued construction of the roll drying system autoclave in Emlichheim. Other major projects carried out were the processing of mung beans at the Kyritz site and the integration of Emsland-Service-GmbH into the Group structure.
Other items on the agenda included the resolution on the appropriation of net income and the approval of the actions of the members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board for fiscal year 2019/20.
During the election for the members of the Supervisory Board, the Chairman of the Management Board, Mr. Bakker, announced that he would not be standing for re-election to the Supervisory Board. On behalf of the Management Board, the Supervisory Board and all shareholders and employees, Dr. Hausmann thanked Mr. Bakker for his many years of service to the Group, his more than 20 years on the Supervisory Board, his high level of commitment and engagement, and for putting his extensive expertise to use on behalf of the Emsland Group, the farmers and all employees. It was Mr. Bakker who successfully and decisively pushed many things forward here at Emsland.
Mr. Gerd Deuling and Dr. Norbert Partmann were re-elected to the Supervisory Board, and Mr. Lambert Vette became the Supervisory Board’s newest elected member. After completing this last item on the agenda, the Annual General Meeting was closed by Mr. Bakker.