The shareholders also agreed to raise the dividend to EUR 8.60 per share (previous year EUR 8.25), meaning that MUNICH Re is paying out over EUR 1.3 billion to its shareholders.
"Nikolaus von BOMHARD took over at the helm of MUNICH Re at a difficult time, and successfully repositioned the Group's strategy; this allowed Munich Re to survive the financial crisis unscathed", said Bernd PISCHETSRIEDER, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board at MUNICH Re, paying tribute to the contribution of the departing Chairman.
At the Annual General Meeting, von BOMHARD stressed how important innovation is for MUNICH Re: "Our aim is to understand the opportunities and risks of new technologies earlier and better than the competition, and to develop new products and business models on the basis of this knowledge. I am proud of what MUNICH Re has initiated in terms of innovation across the whole Group."
With regard to business performance in 2016, von BOMHARD said: "The consolidated result of EUR 2.6 billion was in the upper half of our profit guidance. We generated these profits under difficult circumstances, without weakening the Company's core. So we are happy with the result." Von BOMHARD added: "A provisional estimate of business performance in the first three months of the year indicates that to date we are well on track to reach our profit target for 2017." MUNICH Re will be publishing its figures for the first quarter on 9 May 2017.
On increasing the dividend by 35 cents to EUR 8.60, von BOMHARD pointed out: "Our dividend policy is sustainable and shareholder friendly. We have not reduced our dividend for almost 50 years."
In addition, MUNICH Re is returning surplus capital to its shareholders via share buy-back programmes: since the last Annual General Meeting, shares with a value of EUR 999.999.115 have been repurchased; this represents 6,025,989 shares or around 3.74% of share capital. In a further share buy-back programme, shares with a value of up to EUR 1 billion are earmarked for repurchase in the period up to the Annual General Meeting on 25 April 2018, provided there are no major upheavals in the capital markets and operational business in 2017. Taking into account dividend payouts and share buy-backs, MUNICH Re has returned over EUR 23 billion to its shareholders since 2005.
Annual General Meeting resolutions
Of the resolutions passed at the Annual General Meeting, the following resolutions were passed with a large majority:
- A dividend of EUR 8.60 (previous year: EUR 8.25) will be paid out for the 2016 financial year. The overall dividend payout amounts to EUR 1.338 billion (previous year: EUR 1.329 billion).
- As the successor to Wolfgang MAYRHUBER (70), who resigned his place on the Supervisory Board with effect from the end of 2016, Renata Jungo BRUENGGER (55) had been appointed to the Supervisory Board by court order, and this appointment as a shareholder representative was confirmed by election at the Annual General Meeting. Jungo BRUENGGER was elected to the Supervisory Board for the remaining period of office of Mayrhuber - namely until the Annual General Meeting 2019.
- Authorisation was again given to buy back shares (also using derivatives) up to a total amount of 10% of the share capital. The authorisation granted on 27 April 2016 had been exhausted to a significant extent by the share buy-back programme launched in June 2016, and was replaced.
- The authorisation to increase the share capital of the Company by 25 April 2022 by a total of up to EUR 280m through the issue of new registered no-par-value shares against contributions in cash or in kind (Authorised Capital 2017). The Authorised Capital 2013 has thus been renewed in the same amount, so that the Company may, if necessary, seamlessly continue to strengthen capital using this tool in coming years as well.