Share price performance in the year under review
The development of the Geberit share price over the past year was once again satisfying, supported by the favorable climate on the equity markets. Beginning the year at CHF 270.50, the share price – driven by the positive business results – significantly outperformed the Swiss Market Index (SMI) in the first half of the year. Following the third quarter, during which the Geberit share price kept pace with the market, it then once again posted above-average gains up to the end of the year as a result of the announcement of the Sanitec acquisition and the positive expectations with regard to the performance of the business and closed at CHF 338.40, just below the all-time high. This corresponds to a rise of 25.1%. In the same period, the SMI grew by 9.5%. Viewed over the past five years, the Geberit share posted an annual average increase in value of 13.0% (SMI: +6.5%). The Geberit Group’s market capitalization reached CHF 12,791 million at the end of 2014.
The Geberit shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, Zurich.
At the end of 2014, the free float as defined by SIX was 100%.
Given a normal market environment, Geberit can achieve solid free cashflows, which are either invested in organic growth, used to repay debts, applied toward any acquisitions or distributed to shareholders. The capital structure is prudently maintained and the company strives for a solid balance sheet structure with a buffer of liquidity. On the one hand, this policy guarantees the financial flexibility necessary to achieve growth targets, and on the other hand it offers investors security. Surplus liquid funds are distributed to shareholders. Geberit continued this shareholder-friendly distribution policy last year as well, and this is also intended to continue unchanged after the acquisition of Sanitec.
Over the last five years, around CHF 1.7 billion has been paid out to shareholders in the form of distributions or share buybacks. During the same period, the price of the Geberit share has risen from CHF 183.50 at the end of 2009 to CHF 338.40 at the end of 2014.
The Board of Directors will propose to the General Meeting of Geberit AG on April 1, 2015, a dividend of CHF 8.30, an increase of 10.7% over that of 2014. The payout ratio of 62.7% of net income is in the upper range of the 50% to 70% corridor defined by the Board of Directors. Subject to the shareholders’ approval, the distribution will be paid on April 9, 2015.
The share buyback program announced in March 2014 was launched on April 30, 2014. In the course of this program, shares amounting to a total of a maximum of 5% of the share capital recorded in the Commercial Register will be repurchased over a period of two years, less withholding tax, and retired by means of a capital reduction. The share buyback will be conducted via a separate trading line on the SIX Swiss Exchange. By December 31, 2014, 123,000 shares, which corresponds to around 6% of the entire program, had been acquired at a sum of CHF 37.4 million. The share buyback program has been suspended since July 2014 as a result of the Sanitec acquisition. The Board of Directors will decide whether to resume the program at the appropriate time.
Geberit publishes current and comprehensive information simultaneously for all market participants and interested parties on the Internet ( www.geberit.com), including ad-hoc announcements. Among other things, the current version of the investor presentation is available on the Internet at any time. In addition, interested parties may add their names to a mailing list ( www.geberit.com/mailinglist) in order to receive the most recent information relating to the company.
CEO Christian Buhl, CFO Roland Iff and the Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations Roman Sidler are in charge of the ongoing communication with shareholders, the capital market and the general public. Contact details may be found on the Internet in the relevant sections. Information relating to Geberit is provided in the form of regular media information, media and analysts’ conferences as well as financial presentations.
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