The Supervisory Board of E. ON SE today at its meeting took a summary of the last 15 months. More than 99 percent of the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting in May 2016 approved the splitting of the Group into two independent companies. In September 2016, Uniper was first listed on the stock exchange by giving E. ON's shareholders a majority shareholding.
The Supervisory Board believes that the new E. ON has made very good progress since then with the transformation of the company. Debt was reduced to around €21.5 billion much faster than planned. At the end of last year, it was still around €26 billion. The political risks are also considerably lower now that the agreement on the financing of the interim and final storage of waste from nuclear power plants has been reached. At the same time, E. ON increased its equity ratio to 9 percent at the end of the first half of 2017, an increase of 7 percentage points compared with the end of last year.
The Phoenix cost reduction program is making a major contribution to securing the future of the company. Already in 2017, this will lead to a sustainable reduction in costs of around €100 million. The lion share of €300 million will be effective in 2018. In total E.ON will achieve a cost reduction of €400 million from 2018 onwards.
"E. ON has done an excellent job in the past fifteen months and, like Uniper, has successfully repositioned itself. The development of share prices is encouraging. Since the spin-off of Uniper, former E. ON shareholders have gained approx. 45 percent in value if they have held both shares. We are working to ensure that our future strategy continues to convince our shareholders. The growing acceptance of the new E. ON among our customers is also encouraging," said Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of E. ON SE.
The Board of Management is currently working on a future strategy for growth and attractive dividends. First principles of the future strategy and an increased payout ratio were already proposed by the Board of Management and approved by the Supervisory Board. The Executive Board will submit detailed proposals to the Supervisory Board by spring 2018 and will then present them to investors, customers and employees.
In view of the new strategic phase of the Group, which is now beginning, the Supervisory Board decided today that the current Board of Management team headed by Johannes Teyssen will continue to lead the new E. ON in the coming years. The Supervisory Board approved the corresponding proposals of the Presiding Committee to extend the contract of Johannes Teyssen as Chairman of the Executive Board as early as legally possible – i. e. at the beginning of next year – by three years until December 31, 2021. The Supervisory Board has also decided to extend Leonhard Birnbaum's contract as a member of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer for the grids and renewable energies by five years until June 30, 2023.
"Today's decisions have set the course for E. ON's Board of Management over the next few years. It is now a matter of sustainable and value-based growth and the further systematic orientation towards the new energy world. The Supervisory Board is convinced that Johannes Teyssen is the right man at the top of E. ON, especially for the start of this new phase of corporate development," adds Karl-Ludwig Kley.
"I am pleased to be able to continue to take the initiative with the Supervisory Board under the leadership of Karl-Ludwig Kley and the E. ON Board of Management – for our owners, our customers and our employees”, said Johannes Teyssen. “We aim to be a sustainable and attractive investment for our owners. In the new energy world, we place our customer at the center of our efforts. We will enable them to make better use of their opportunities in a greener, more decentralized and digital energy world. The entire Management Board team is grateful to have the confidence of the Supervisory Board for this. That is why I have gladly agreed to extend my contract again. With this team, our managers and employees, we will now tackle the tasks ahead of us with determination”, continued Teyssen.