Neste Corporation, Stock Exchange Release, 28 March 2023 at 1.30 p.m. (EET)
Neste Corporation's Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held today at Messukeskus, Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre. The AGM supported all the proposals presented to the meeting and approved the remuneration report. The AGM adopted the company's Financial Statements and Consolidated Financial Statements for 2022 and discharged the Board of Directors and the President & CEOs from liability for 2022.
First dividend installment of EUR 0.76 per share and second installment of EUR 0.76 per share at the maximum
The AGM approved the Board of Directors' proposal that an ordinary dividend of EUR 1.02 per share will be paid on the basis of the approved balance sheet for 2022 plus an extraordinary dividend of EUR 0.25 per share, i.e., EUR 1.27 per share in total. The ordinary dividend shall be paid in two installments. In addition, in accordance with the proposal by the Board of Directors, the AGM authorized the Board to decide, in its discretion, on the payment of a second extraordinary dividend of EUR 0.25 per share, by 31 October 2023. The Board expects that this discretionary second extraordinary dividend will be paid, unless there is a significant deterioration in the business environment during 2023.
The first installment of the ordinary dividend, EUR 0.51 per share, and the extraordinary dividend of EUR 0.25 per share, i.e., altogether EUR 0.76 per share, will be paid to shareholders registered in the shareholders’ register of the Company maintained by Euroclear Finland Ltd on the record date for the dividend payment, which shall be Thursday, 30 March 2023. The first installment of the ordinary dividend and the extraordinary dividend will be paid on Thursday, 6 April 2023.
The second installment of the ordinary dividend, EUR 0.51 per share, will be paid to shareholders registered in the shareholders’ register of the Company maintained by Euroclear Finland Ltd on the record date for the second installment of the ordinary dividend, which shall be Friday, 29 September 2023. The second installment of the ordinary dividend will be paid on Friday, 6 October 2023. The Board of Directors was authorized to set a new dividend record date and payment date for the second installment of the ordinary dividend, in case the rules and regulations on the Finnish book-entry system would be changed, or otherwise so require.
The Board noted to the AGM that if the Board decides to pay the second extraordinary dividend by virtue of the authorization, the intention of the Board is to set the record date and payment date for the second extraordinary dividend payable on the basis of the authorization so that the dates are the same as for the second installment of the ordinary dividend.
Composition and remuneration of the Board of Directors
In accordance with the proposal made by the Shareholders' Nomination Board, the AGM confirmed the number of members of the Board of Directors at nine.
The AGM decided that the following were re-elected to serve until the end of the next AGM: Matti Kähkönen, John Abbott, Nick Elmslie, Just Jansz, Jari Rosendal, Eeva Sipilä and Johanna Söderström. Heikki Malinen and Kimmo Viertola were elected as new members.
Matti Kähkönen was re-elected as Chair and Eeva Sipilä was elected as Vice Chair. Board member introductions can be found at the company's web site.
The AGM decided on the remuneration to the Board for the term starting at the end of the 2023 AGM and ending at the end of the 2024 AGM as follows:
- Chair: EUR 95,000
- Vice Chair: EUR 60,000
- Chair of Audit Committee: EUR 60,000 if he or she does not simultaneously act as Chair or Vice Chair of the Board
- Member: EUR 45,000
The AGM decided on the remuneration for committee work as follows:
- other members of the Audit Committee than its Chair will, for such position, be paid EUR 5,000
- the Chair of the Personnel and Remuneration Committee will, for such position, be paid EUR 6,000, and its members will, for such position, be paid EUR 2,500
- the Chair of another committee established based on Board decision will, for such position, be paid EUR 6,000, and its members will, for such position, be paid EUR 2,500.
The AGM decided on the remuneration for participation in Board or committee meetings:
- EUR 1,000 for meetings held in the member's home country;
- EUR 2,000 for meetings held in the same continent as the member's home country; and
- EUR 3,000 for meetings held outside the same continent as the member's home country.
- The meeting fee for meetings held over the telephone or through other means of data communication is paid according to the fee payable for meetings held in each member's home country.
- In addition, compensation for expenses is paid in accordance with the Company's travel guidelines.
The AGM decided that a portion of 40% of the fixed annual fee will be paid in the form of shares and the remainder in cash. Committee and meeting fees will be paid in cash. The shares will be purchased directly on behalf of the Board members within two weeks as of the first trading day of the Helsinki Stock Exchange following the publication of the interim report for the period 1 January to 31 March 2023. If the shares are not purchased and/or delivered based on a reason pertaining to the Company or the Board member, the fee will be in cash in its entirety. The Company is responsible for any transfer tax potentially levied on the purchase.
In accordance with a proposal by the Board of Directors, KPMG Oy Ab, Authorized Public Accountants, were re-elected as the company's Auditor, with Authorized Public Accountant Leenakaisa Winberg as the principally responsible auditor for Neste Corporation, until the end of the next AGM. Payment for their services shall be made in accordance with their invoice approved by the Company.
Authorizing the Board of Directors to decide the buyback of Company shares
The AGM approved the authorization, under which the Board is authorized to decide the purchase of and/or take as security a maximum of 23,000,000 Company shares using the Company's unrestricted equity. The number of shares shall be equivalent to approximately 2.99% of the Company's total shares.
Shares may be purchased in one or more lots. The purchase price shall be at least the lowest price paid for Company shares in regulated trading at the time of purchase and no more than the highest price paid for Company shares in regulated trading at the time of purchase. In connection with the buyback of Company shares, derivative, share lending, or other agreements that are normal within the framework of capital markets may take place in accordance with legislative and regulatory requirements and at a price determined by the market. The authorization shall allow the Board to decide to purchase shares otherwise than in proportion to shareholders' current holdings (directed buyback).
Shares so purchased can be used as consideration in possible acquisitions or in other arrangements that are part of the Company's business, to finance investments, as part of the Company's incentive program, or be retained, conveyed, or canceled by the Company.
The Board of Directors shall decide the other terms related to the buyback of Company shares. The Buyback authorization shall remain in force for eighteen (18) months from the decision taken by the AGM. The authorization is proposed to revoke the buyback authorization granted to the Board of Directors by the AGM on 30 March 2022.
Authorizing the Board of Directors to decide on share issue
The AGM approved the authorization, under which the Board is authorized to take one or more decisions on the issuance of new shares and/or the conveyance of treasury shares held by the Company, provided that the number of shares thereby issued and/or conveyed totals a maximum of 23,000,000 shares, equivalent to approximately 2.99% of all the Company's shares.
The new shares may be issued and/or the treasury shares held by the Company may be conveyed to the Company's shareholders in proportion to the shares they already own or through a directed share issue that bypasses shareholders' pre-emptive rights if the Company has a weighty financial reason for doing so, such as using the shares in question as consideration in possible acquisitions or in other arrangements that are part of the Company's business, to finance investments, or as part of the Company's incentive program.
The new shares may be issued and/or the treasury shares held by the Company may be conveyed against payment or free of charge. A directed share issue may only be made free of charge if there is a particularly weighty financial reason, in respect of the Company's interests and those of all of its shareholders, for doing so. The new shares may also be issued free of charge to the Company itself.
The Board shall decide on other terms and conditions of share issue. The authorization shall remain in force for eighteen (18) months from the decision taken by the AGM. The authorization shall revoke the authorization granted by the AGM on 18 May 2020 to the Board to decide on share issue.
Amendment of Sections 3 and 10 of the Articles of Association
The AGM approved the Board’s proposal to amend the Company’s Articles of Association as follows:
A technical amendment will be made to Article 3 (“Book-entry Securities System”) of the Articles of Association so that the outdated reference to the Finnish Act on Book-entry Securities System from the year 1991 will be deleted.
Following the amendment, Article 3 will in its entirety read as follows:
“3 § Book-entry Securities System
The Company's shares are included in the book-entry securities system.”
The following amendments will be made to Article 10 (“Notice of a General Meeting of Shareholders”) of the Articles of Association:
- Amending the heading of Article 10 so that besides the notice of a General Meeting of Shareholders, also the registration for the General Meeting of Shareholders, and the venue of the General Meeting of Shareholders will be mentioned in the heading.
- Supplementing the third paragraph of Article 10 (according to which the General Meetings of Shareholders shall be held in Espoo, Helsinki, or Vantaa) so that instead of a physical meeting venue, the General Meeting of Shareholders may also be held remotely without a meeting venue if the Board of Directors so decides.
Following the amendment, the heading of Article 10 will in its entirety read as follows:
“10 § Notice of a General Meeting of Shareholders, registration for the General Meeting of Shareholders, and venue of the General Meeting of Shareholders”
Further, following the amendment, the third paragraph of Article 10 will in its entirety read as follows, while Article 10 will otherwise remain unchanged:
"The General Meetings of Shareholders shall be held in Espoo, Helsinki, or Vantaa. However, the Board of Directors may decide that the General Meeting of Shareholders will be held without a meeting venue so that shareholders exercise their decision-making power during the meeting in full in real time using telecommunication connections and technical means (remote meeting)."
Availability of the minutes for review
The minutes of the AGM will be available at neste.com from 11 April 2023 onwards at the latest.
Vice President, Communications
Further information: Christian Ståhlberg, General Counsel. Please contact Neste's media service, tel. +358 800 94025 / firstname.lastname@example.org (weekdays from 8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. EET). Please subscribe to Neste’s releases at https://www.neste.com/for-media/releases-and-news/subscribe.
Neste in brief
Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. We refine waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. We are the world’s leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel and developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. We aim at helping customers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with our renewable and circular solutions by at least 20 million tons annually by 2030. Our ambition is to make the Porvoo oil refinery in Finland the most sustainable refinery in Europe by 2030. We are introducing renewable and recycled raw materials such as liquefied waste plastic as refinery raw materials. We have committed to reaching carbon-neutral production by 2035, and we will reduce the carbon emission intensity of sold products by 50% by 2040. We also have set high standards for biodiversity, human rights and supply chain. We have consistently been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies. In 2022, Neste's revenue stood at EUR 25.7 billion. Read more: neste.com