Gelsenkirchen, 23 June 2020 - At the first virtual Annual General Meeting of the Masterflex Group, shareholders approved the proposal by the Management Board and Supervisory Board to pay a dividend of 7 cents per share, which is on a par with the previous year. The majority of the retained earnings for the 2019 financial year will be retained within the company in order to support the company's further growth course and provide additional support for the robust positioning of the Masterflex Group in the face of increased liquidity and a further reduction in net debt.
The Masterflex Group is the global market leader for high-tech plastic hoses and is currently experiencing particularly strong growth in the medical technology, laboratory technology and food industries. The share of revenue generated by these industries has already increased to over 20% and is showing stable growth even in the current crisis. By contrast, demand in the mechanical engineering, automotive and aviation industries is significantly weaker. Dr. Andreas Bastin, CEO of Masterflex Group: "The coronavirus crisis had a particularly strong impact on demand in these industries. Accordingly, the second quarter will probably be the quarter with the most pronounced dip in revenues over the course of the year. In an isolated analysis of the months April to June, we must expect a year-on-year decline in revenues of up to 20%".
For the further course of business in the next two quarters and the corresponding financial forecast for 2020 as a whole, Masterflex assumes that the COVID-19 effects on the economy will take a U-shaped course. The Masterflex Group therefore expects the strongest impact on its own business development in the second and third quarters of 2020. The Management Board expects a gradual recovery in the environment only in the third or perhaps even fourth quarter. By the end of the year, an upturn should then return to almost the level planned. Based on this premise, Masterflex expects a decline in revenue of between 10% and 15% for the year 2020. Accordingly, EBIT will be between EUR 2.5 million and EUR 1.0 million at Group level. The Masterflex Group continues to adhere to its medium-term forecast and aims to achieve organic growth to EUR 100 million in revenue by 2023/2024 and a sustained double-digit EBIT margin from 2022 onwards.
The Annual General Meeting expressed its confidence in the Management Board and Supervisory Board for the 2019 financial year by a large majority and approved all items on the agenda with at least 98%. Around 5,2 million shares were represented at the vote, which corresponds to 53,3% of the share capital.
The detailed voting results for the individual agenda items of the Annual General Meeting are published on our website.