'Michelin has ambitious objectives," says Senard
At Groupe Michelin's annual shareholders meeting, shareholders adopted all of the resolutions submitted for their approval.
The meeting was held recently in Clermont-Ferrand, France, under the chairmanship of General Partner and CEO Jean-Dominique Senard. Michelin is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
According to Michelin, the key resolutions were:
* payment of a dividend of 2.50 euros per share (nearly $3.50 a share based on the exchange rate on May 16, 2014, the day of the meeting). The dividend will be paid in cash on May 23, 2014.
* the advisory vote on the components of Senard’s compensation for 2013.
* the renewal of financial authorizations.
* the authorization to grant performance shares to the company's employees, based on vesting criteria aligned with shareholders’ interests.
* authorizations to carry out a share buyback program at a maximum purchase price per share of 140 euros (close to $192 a share) and to reduce the share capital by cancelling the shares purchased under the program.
Shareholders elected Cyrille Poughon to the supervisory board for a four-year term. In addition, Laurence Parisot and Pat Cox were re-elected to the supervisory board for four-year terms.
Marc Henry, chief financial officer and member of the Groupe Executive Committee, reviewed the company's results, noting that 2013 was the fourth year of value creation, with very high levels of free cash flow and operating income before non-recurring items.
He also confirmed Michelin’s 2014 objectives of 1) an increase in operating income before non-recurring items (at constant exchange rates); 2) a more than 11% return on capital employed; and 3) structural free cash flow of more than 500 million euros ($685 million), along with a capital expenditure program maintained at around 2 billion euros (approximately $2.7 billion).
Senard outlined Michelin's strategic objectives for 2020.
"We obviously want to establish a clear lead in terms of product performance, while setting the standard for responsible manufacturing practices," he said. Another major objective -- the group's financial performance, is on solid ground, thanks to its competitive manufacturing base and tight control of overheads. He said Michelin enjoys robust margins and very low debt.
Lastly, in terms of corporate social responsibility, its flexible organization and the engagement of its teams represent outstanding assets in the face of global competition.
"Michelin has ambitious objectives: to be among the most innovative, the most responsible and the most efficient companies, and to be a world leader in sustainable mobility."