Update March 25, 2020
The Board of Directors of AB Volvo has decided to postpone the Annual General Meeting given the uncertain and accelerating developments in the wake of COVID-19.
In recent days, a number of government authorities around the world have continued to introduce measures that directly impact the Volvo Group’s operations and customers. These decisions include closing borders, minimizing freedom of movement for citizens and closing businesses. Most of the Group’s manufacturing plants are currently closed and employees in several countries have been temporarily laid off. Recent developments have a direct effect on economies important for the Volvo Group and the assessment is that the prevailing situation will lead to weaker demand for the Group’s products and services. As already indicated, this will have a material negative effect on the Group’s financial development.
In light of the above, the Board of Directors of AB Volvo has decided to postpone the Annual General Meeting in order to give the company and the Board a better opportunity to further evaluate the situation.
“The Board is closely monitoring the development and how this very difficult situation that the world finds itself in will affect the Volvo Group and in particular the demand for its products and services,” says Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman of the Board of AB Volvo. “We believe that, in the current situation, it is responsible to postpone the Annual General Meeting, to assess how the situation develops.”??
The 2020 Annual General Meeting will be held by June 30th at the latest in accordance with applicable legislation. A new notice will be distributed well in advance of the Annual General Meeting.
Update March 19, 2020
In light of the general uncertainty and the measures taken to slow down the spread of Covid19 and their effects on the Volvo Group, the Board of Directors of AB Volvo has decided to maintain the proposal to the Annual General Meeting on April 8, 2020 of an ordinary dividend of SEK 5.50 per share, but to withdraw the proposal of an extra dividend of SEK 7.50 per share.
The Volvo Group has a strong financial position and good liquidity, but since the Board of Directors submitted its original dividend proposal the business environment has changed significantly. Many of the Group’s operations are, or will be, temporarily closed and it is currently not possible to assess the duration. In order to ensure that the Volvo Group can act from a position of strength in the current turbulent environment, the Board considers that it is prudent to maintain the proposal for the ordinary dividend, but withdraw the proposal for an extra dividend.
Original dividend proposal
For the full year 2019, the Board of Directors proposes an ordinary dividend of SEK 5.50 per share, compared to SEK 5.00 per share the preceding year. In addition, the Board of Directors proposes an extraordinary dividend of SEK 7.50 per share for 2019, compared to SEK 5.0?per share the preceding year.
Financial strategy - balancing good returns and financial stability.
The purpose of Volvo’s long-term financial strategy is to ensure the best use of Group resources in providing shareholders with a favorable return and offering creditors financial stability.
A long-term competitive market position requires availability of capital to implement investments.
Volvo's goal is a strong and stable financial position
The financial strategy ensures that the Group’s capital is used in the best possible manner by:
? balancing shareholders’ expectations on favorable returns with creditors’ demands for financial stability
? strong and stable credit ratings
? diversified access to financing from the capital markets
? margin in the balance sheet to cope with a strong decline in the economy
? financing at competitive conditions to customers.
The capital structure target is set to a net financial debt, excluding provisions for post-employment benefits, for the Industrial Operations of a maximum of 35% of shareholders’ equity under normal conditions.
Volvo carefully monitors the trend of financial key ratios to confirm that the financial position is in line with the Group’s policy. The financial key ratios include order intake as well as operational and financial development.
Volvo strives for strong, stable credit ratings
The Volvo Group has continual meetings with the credit rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to update them on the company’s development. These meetings contribute to the credit rating agencies’ ability to assess the Group’s future ability to repay loans. A high long-term credit rating provides access to additional sources of financing and lower borrowing costs.
Volvo works actively for a good balance between short and long-term loans, as well as borrowing preparedness in the form of credit facilities, to satisfy the Volvo Group’s long-term financing needs.
Click the link below for information on the Swedish withholding tax on dividends on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website.
Swedish Tax Agency’s Website (external link)
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