Rueil-Malmaison (France), April 23, 2010 - The shareholders of Schneider Electric SA met in the Annual and Extraordinary Meeting, chaired by Henri Lachmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, on April 22, 2010 to hear, among others, the reports of the Management Board and Supervisory Board and to approve the financial statements for 2009.
During the Meeting, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman of the Management Board, presented the Group's strategy in response to the energy challenge and the major transformation of the electric grid with emergence of the smart grid. This transformation is creating significant growth opportunities for the Group, from renewable energy connection, energy efficiency, to recharging infrastructure for electric cars and electric grid automation.
He also presented the acquisition project of Areva Distribution which is a key industrial project for Schneider Electric with high synergy potential (approximately €120 million in year 5 of acquisition) that complements perfectly the Group's medium-voltage activity. The cash impact of the transaction is about €1.1 billion. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur before the end of the second quarteer this year.
Emmanuel Babeau, Executive Vice-President Finance, presented the results for 2009, a year marked by the strong resilience of the Group and a record high free cash flow, despite a tough business environment. The good margin resilience was supported by the rapid implementation of the One company programme and the simplification of the support functions.
Emmanuel Babeau also commented on the Group performance for the first quarter of 2010, characterised by a return to growth (at +2.3% on organic basis), led by the strong rebound of the Industry and IT businesses and the robust growth momentum of the new economies (34% of Group sales). However, the non-residential construction downturn in mature markets continues to weigh on the performance of Power and Buildings divisions which were still in negative territory. Q1 sales performance supports Schneider Electric's targets of a return to topline growth in 2010, at low single-digit (on organic basis), and of an improvement of profitability with an EBITA margin of around 14% before restructuring cost (and before any impact of integration of Areva Distribution upon closing).
Shareholders approved all of the resolutions, including:
- The approval of the 2009 financial statements,
- The payment of a net dividend of €2.05 per share payable on June 1, 2010. Shareholders may elect to receive their dividend in cash or in shares,
- The partial re-election of the members of the Supervisory Board, including the mandate of Mr. Henri Lachmann,
- The re-appointment of the Statutory Auditors,
- The financial authorizations given to the Management Board and regulated agreements and commitments.
With a quorum of 60.1%, the resolutions were adopted with a majority vote of between 83.8% and 99.9%. The results of the voting are posted on the website www.schneider-electric.com.
Click here to see the presentation made to the Annual Shareholder's Meeting and a replay of the webcast.
The half-year financial results and the second quarter sales number will be released on July 30, 2010.
About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company's 100,000 plus employees achieved sales of 15.8 billion euros in 2009, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations “Make the most of their energy.”