2017 Annual General Meeting: MAN well-positioned for issues for the future
Shareholders receive guaranteed dividend of €3.07 per share
The Annual General Meeting of commercial vehicle and mechanical engineering group MAN in Munich saw Joachim Drees, Chief Executive Officer of MAN SE, express his confidence in front of around 800 shareholders and guests: “We expect world economic growth in 2017 to be up slightly on the previous year. The MAN Group’s sales revenue in 2017 is expected to be slightly higher than the previous year, with operating profit and operating return on sales significantly above the 2016 level. They will also noticeably exceed the 2016 figures before special items.”
Despite difficult market conditions, MAN was able to maintain leading market positions in all areas in 2016. Drees: “Our high level of innovation, our quality aspirations, and the closeness to our customers have proven definitive advantages.” The Commercial Vehicles business area generated significant growth in the European commercial vehicles market. In a number of individual countries such as Italy and Poland, demand for powerful commercial vehicles was particularly pleasing. By contrast, the ongoing recession in Brazil led to a considerable market decline as against the already weak prior year. In the Power Engineering business area, the situation in the marine and turbomachinery markets deteriorated further. The marine-offshore segment and new turbomachinery were also affected by the low oil price leading to a reluctance to invest. Demand for energy solutions in developing countries and emerging economies continued to grow over the course of the year.
In addition to commenting on the business figures, Joachim Drees presented several issues for the future to the shareholders that the Company is working on intensively – particularly electrification, digitalization, and selfdriving. With the eTruck and the eBus, MAN will soon be offering solutions in electromobility to meet the growing demand for emission-free drives. Nine Austrian companies will even be testing the MAN eTruck out in customer practice before the year is out. A small set of around 250 vehicles will be launched at the end of 2018 and series production is set to start in 2021.
To improve the digital networking of all parties involved along the transportation and logistics chain, MAN initiated digital brand RIO. RIO is an independent brand under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group. The cloudbased, manufacturer-independent platform will be launched commercially this year.
Another issue for the future for MAN is platooning, in which at least two trucks drive behind one another in a convoy with the help of driver assistance and steering systems. “Platooning is first and foremost a gain for transportation security. We see great future potential in driving in truck convoys,” explains Drees. A cooperation agreement was signed in May between MAN Truck & Bus and DB Schenker. 2018 will see a truck platoon on the road in the digital test field on the A9 between DB Schenker’s Munich and Nuremberg branches.”
The MAN boss also described the MAN Group’s current programs for the future to the shareholders. At MAN Truck & Bus, the PACE2017 program has already had a clear impact on results. One focus is on realigning the production sites and streamlining in all administration areas. Furthermore, product costs are being cut and sales performance boosted. This prepares the ground for future growth and major investments.
MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Base Camp 3000+ program is all about leveraging potential and boosting efficiency. As well as updating the strategy and portfolio, it is designed to optimize internal processes and substantially improve cost structures. In doing so, the ability to compete will be boosted in the long term.
MAN SE has not distributed a dividend since fiscal year 2014. Instead, free float shareholders will again receive the guaranteed dividend of €3.07 per common and preferred share in 2016 laid down in the domination and profit and loss transfer agreement with Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH for the previous fiscal year as a whole. On March 31, 2017, Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH held 75.73% of MAN SE’s voting rights and 74.53% of its share capital. The free float is around 25%.
Joachim Drees finished by concluding: “MAN is and remains a strong global brand with excellent products. I am convinced that with our motivated and dedicated team we will make a real difference and continue to enjoy success.”