Flughafen Zürich AG waives Dividend for 2019
The impact of the COVID-19 crisis has led to substantial revenue declines since mid March for Flughafen Zürich AG. The board of directors has thus reassessed the situation and will propose to the upcoming Annual General Meeting a complete suspension of the dividend. This includes the cancellation of the initially planned ordinary dividend of CHF 3.90 per share and the previously announced additional dividend of CHF 3.20 per share. The Annual General Meeting will be held on June 11, 2020.
The board of directors and the management are convinced that Flughafen Zürich AG, with its strong balance sheet and the steps taken to reduce the operating expenses and the investment program, is in a robust position to weather the prevailing situation. This is further expressed by the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and fedafin AG, which both confirmed the AA- rating of Flughafen Zürich AG recently. If additional capital should be required, the options of the Swiss capital market will be considered first. Flughafen Zürich AG currently believes that it does not have to apply for a bridging loan from the Swiss government. Chairman of the Board Andreas Schmid states: «We welcome the intention of bridging loans from the Swiss government for the Swiss aviation industry. This will ensure that the temporary crisis in the global aviation market does not result in a structural and long-lasting damage to the regional and national economy.»
In the current, extraordinary situation, securing liquidity has top priority. Comprehensive measures to safeguard liquidity and reduce costs have already been decided and implemented, short-time working has been introduced and investment planning is being adjusted on an ongoing basis. As a further measure, the suspension of the dividend will be proposed at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting. Andreas Schmid continues: «Flughafen Zürich AG is a solid company with a long-term focus. In the sense of responsible corporate governance, we consider it crucial to maintain our liquidity position in order to be able to overcome the crisis financially secure and entrepreneurially.»
Flughafen Zürich AG has maintained an attractive dividend policy for years. The distribution of additional dividends from capital contribution reserves will still be possible in the future, if the business prospects of the company and the economic environment allow for it.
The 2020 Annual General Meeting will be held on June 11, 2020. Due to the regulation of the Swiss Federal Council to continue without major events, an Annual General Meeting without physical attendance is expected.