Financial Statements and dividend
The AGM adopted the Company’s Financial Statements and discharged the members of the Board of Directors and the President and CEO from liability for the financial period 1 January–31 December 2019. As proposed by the Board of Directors, a dividend of EUR 1.30 per share will be paid on 16 April 2020. The dividend ex-date is 1 April and record date 2 April 2020.
Composition of the Board of Directors
The number of members of the Board of Directors was confirmed as ten, and Berndt Brunow, Henrik Ehrnrooth, Piia-Noora Kauppi, Marjan Oudeman, Ari Puheloinen, Veli-Matti Reinikkala, Kim Wahl and Björn Wahlroos were re-elected to the Board. Emma FitzGerald and Martin à Porta were elected as new directors to the Board. The directors’ term of office will end upon the closure of the next AGM.
Remuneration of the Board of Directors
The remuneration of the members of the Board of Directors remained unchanged and it was resolved that the Chair of the Board will be paid an annual base fee of EUR 190,000, the Deputy Chair of the Board EUR 135,000 and other members of the Board EUR 110,000.
The AGM further resolved that the annual committee fees payble to the members of the Board of Directors’ committees remain unchanged and that the fees will be paid as follows:
- Audit Committee Chair EUR 35,000 and members EUR 15,000
- Remuneration Committee Chair EUR 20,000 and members EUR 10,000 and
- Nomination and Governance Committee Chair EUR 20,000 and members EUR 10,000.
The annual base fee will be paid in Company shares and cash so that approximately 40% of the fee will be paid in the Company shares to be purchased on the Board members’ behalf, and the rest in cash. The annual committee fees will be paid in cash. If the term of a member of the Board of Directors terminates before the Annual General Meeting of 2021, the Board has a right to decide upon potential reclaim of the annual fees as it deems appropriate.
The Company will pay any costs and transfer tax related to the purchase of the Company shares. Shares thus purchased may not be transferred within two years from the purchase date or until the director’s membership in the Board has ended, whichever occurs first. According to the purchase order issued by the Company, the shares will be purchased within two (2) weeks following the release of the Company's Interim Report for the period 1 January–31 March 2020.
The AGM further resolved that travel and lodging expenses incurred from meetings held elsewhere than in a director’s place of residence will be paid against invoice.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy, a firm of authorised public accountants, was re-elected as the Company’s auditor for a term that will continue until the end of the next AGM. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy, Authorised Public Accountant (KHT) Mikko Nieminen will continue as the lead audit partner. The audit fee was resolved to be paid against invoices approved by the Board of Directors’ Audit Committee.
Authorisation to decide on the issuance of shares and special rights entitling to shares
The Board of Directors was authorised to decide on the issuance of new shares, transfer of treasury shares and issuance of special rights entitling to shares in proportion to the shareholders’ existing holdings in the Company, or in a directed share issue, deviating from the shareholder's pre-emptive subscription right. The Board of Directors may also decide on a share issue without payment to the Company itself. The aggregate maximum number of new shares that may be issued and treasury shares that may be transferred is 25,000,000 including also the number of shares that can be received on the basis of the special rights. The authorisation will be valid for 18 months from the date of the AGM resolution.
Authorisation to decide on the repurchase of the Company's own shares
The Board of Directors was authorised to decide on the repurchase of a maximum of 50,000,000 of the Company’s own shares at market price in public trading using the Company’s unrestricted shareholders’ equity. The authorisation also includes the right to accept the Company’s own shares as a pledge. The authorisation will be valid for 18 months from the date of the AGM resolution and it revoked the repurchase authorisation granted by the previous AGM.
Authorisation to decide on charitable contributions
The Board of Directors was authorised to decide on contributions not exceeding a total of EUR 500,000 for charitable or corresponding purposes and to decide on the recipients, purposes and other terms and conditions of the contributions. Contributions will be primarily granted under the Company’s Biofore Share and Care programme whose focus areas are reading and learning, engaging with communities, responsible water use and bioinnovations. The authorisation will be valid until the next AGM.