Sandvik's annual general meeting 1998
In his address to the shareholders at Sandvik AB's Annual General Meeting on 6 May 1998 in Sandviken, Chief Executive Officer Clas Åke Hedström commented on the eventful 1997 fiscal year and the strong first quarter this year, with an increase in invoiced sales of 47% including company acquisitions.
Sales in Southeast Asia and Korea fell SEK 150 M during the quarter, an anticipated decline considering the currency crises in the area. He also provided a number of examples of the company's successful development during the past four years:
- To date , the Group as a whole is above the established growth targets. After own expansion and acquisitions, Sandvik now has sales exceeding SEK 40 billion on an annual basis, that is, near a doubling.
- The resources for research and development have increased by nearly 50% and the number of patents is 70% higher.
- A total of SEK 8 billion has been invested and 14 companies have been acquired for SEK 6.6 billion. The largest company acquisitions are Tamrock, Kanthal and Precision Twist Drill, all carried out in 1997.
- Return on net assets has averaged 22% annually and 17% for shareholders' equity, that is, well above return requirements.
- The favorable profitability has also been reflected in development of the Sandvik share. The price has nearly doubled in the past four years.
- The dividend has more than tripled, from SEK 2.25 to SEK 7.00. The average dividend payout ratio during the period is 52%.
The Meeting approved the Board's proposal of an increase in dividend of SEK 0.50 to SEK 7.00 per share for fiscal year 1997, corresponding to SEK 1,811 M. This represents a payout ratio of 70%. The Meeting approved 11 May as the record date, which means that the distribution of dividends is expected to occur on 18 May 1998.
The following were elected members of the Board: Percy Barnevik, Georg Ehrnrooth, Per-Olof Eriksson, Clas Åke Hedström, Clas Reuterskiöld, Mauritz Sahlin and Sven Ågrup.
The auditors are: Authorized Public Accountants Lars Svantemark and Bernhard Öhrn. Deputy auditors: Authorized Public Accountants Peter Markborn and Åke Näsman. The employee representatives appointed to the Board are: Bo Boström (member), Göran Lindstedt (member), Jan Broberg (deputy) and Birgitta Karlsson (deputy).
The Wilhelm Haglund Medal for the best product development in the Group was awarded to Conny Jansson at Sandvik Saws and Tools for development work with ergonomic hand tools.
Sandviken, 6 May 1998
SANDVIK AB; (publ)