Ladies and Gentlemen,

Before we move on to topics on the agenda of the Annual General Meeting, I would like to take the opportunity of adding a few words about the war in Ukraine in my capacity as Supervisory Board Chairman of the company.

In the light of the situation in Ukraine, I would like to emphasize that the Supervisory Board together with the Executive Board stand side by side with all those who are calling for an immediate end to the war. We hope to see peace in Ukraine in the very near future. We keep following the developments with great concern and will do everything in our power to protect and support our GEA employees.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would now like to turn to my comments on the previous fiscal year. In 2021 and also in recent months, the Supervisory Board and its committees have delved into numerous topics, including corporate strategy and the variable remuneration of the Executive Board aligned with it. I will get back to this point in just a minute. In 2021, the Supervisory Board held seven meetings, the Presiding Committee met five times, while the Audit Committee and the Nomination Committee each convened on four occasions, with the Innovation Committee gathering for two meetings. In particular, the discussions focused on the reports delivered by the Executive Board on the company's day-to-day business including its financial performance, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic - and most recently the war in Ukraine. Moreover, the Board discussed medium-term planning and approved the budget for the following year. Further focal points embraced the action taken in the fields of innovation, digitalization as well as sustainability with an emphasis on ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). In addition, there were the initiatives taken within the remit of the Chief Operating Officer, specifically in relation to procurement and global production, and a small number of divestments affecting entities that no longer formed part of the group's key business. Apart from that, the Supervisory Board addressed topics like management development and succession planning, which included the presentation of individual divisions by senior division managers; it also regularly dealt with matters of compliance and information security.

Regarding the new "Mission 26" strategy, which will shortly be addressed by Mr. Klebert, I should like to affirm in advance that the Supervisory Board fully supports this strategy and the declared objective of accelerating sustainable and profitable growth over the next five years. The strategy relies on seven key levers: sustainability, innovation and digitalization, New Food, three

excellence initiatives in the fields of sales, service and operations, as well as targeted acquisitions. We share the view that these are the right parameters to better support our customers and attain the envisaged targets, notably organic growth of 4 to 6 percent per year, as well as an EBITDA level of more than 15%. The strategy was first revealed to the Supervisory Board during our annual strategy meeting in August of last year and followed by a joint discussion. During this discourse, the Supervisory Board emphasized the importance of factoring in sufficient financial resources for the purpose of facilitating the envisaged above-average future growth. Apart from that, the Executive Board left the meeting with a set of detailed questions that were answered on the occasion of the September meeting. During that gathering, we once again focused on the new strategy and also gave suggestions for the upcoming Capital Markets Day, at which the Executive Board publicly presented the "Mission 26" strategy.

Ever since, Executive Board reporting on the implementation of the strategy has been at the forefront of our deliberations. Key aspects of this new "Mission 26" strategy are also reflected in the new Executive Board remuneration system that went into effect as of 2022 following its adoption by a huge majority of 90% of the votes at last year's Annual General Meeting. Let me briefly elaborate on this system:

The performance-related components of the Executive Board remuneration system comprise the annual bonus as a short-term incentive, as well as a four-year variable remuneration component, the Performance Share Plan, which represents the long-term incentive. They do not only reward the accomplishment of purely financial targets, but also the attainment of strategic objectives, specifically ESG goals. 60% of the long-term incentive is based on relative Total Shareholder Return while 40 percent are made up by two strategic objectives.

1. Total Shareholder Return refers to share price performance plus notional reinvestment of gross dividends over the performance period. For the purpose of computing the respective level of target achievement, the Total Shareholder Return performance of GEA's stock is compared with the Total Shareholder Return performance of the companies included in the DAX 50 ESG index, of which GEA is a founding member due to its excellent sustainability ratings.


As a rule, the strategic objectives are derived from the company's strategic orientation and sustainability management. For the purpose of the long-term incentive tranche covering the period between 2022 and 2025, the Supervisory Board has defined two goals that form part of "Mission 26". They embrace the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on the one hand while focusing on organic sales growth, on the other.

  • Within the framework of its climate strategy, GEA has committed to reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions along the entire value chain to net zero by 2040. In addition, GEA has also set interim targets for all categories of emissions in line with the Science Based Targets initiative. These interim targets, which are to be accomplished by the end of 2030, represent the baseline for assessing target achievement under the long-term incentive. Based on the envisaged 60 percent continuous reduction of carbon emissions in Scope 1 and 2 by 2030, a consistent absolute annual carbon reduction level for the four-year period of the long-term incentive covering the years 2022 through 2025 was ascertained. It will be used as a yardstick for gauging the performance of the Executive Board. Scope 1 and 2 essentially refer to emissions released as part of our own operations.

  • The second strategic objective under the 2022 to 2025 tranche of the long-term incentive includes an average annual organic sales growth of between 4 to 6 percent. Within the framework of the "Mission 26" strategy, this will give rise to revenue in the amount of approximately EUR 6 billion by 2026. At the end of the day, you, dear shareholders, are also going to benefit from this planned development and the resulting enhancement in value

This goes to show that two ambitious targets - which will have a lasting effect on both GEA's future and the environment - form

part of the Executive Board's long-term incentive set by the Supervisory Board. The same applies to the target definition of the annual bonus, the short-term incentive. The latter includes the key financials EBITDA before restructuring measures as well as ROCE, which stands for return on capital employed. Target achievement is influenced by the modifier targets, the results of which may eventually give the overall score an upward or downward tweak. When specifying the modifier targets for 2022, the Supervisory Board made sure that they were aligned with the strategic focus of the company. Two targets with a view to enhancing operational excellence were set: On the one hand, successfully implementing the new factory concept in Koszalin/Poland. On the other hand, continuing the globalSAP project aimed at harmonizing the ERP systems according to plan. In addition, the Board defined two modifier targets relating to the customer and employee survey. Serving as a yardstick, they will be used for assessing the chosen strategic path from a customer and employee perspective.

Apart from that, the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board have agreed that the latter will regularly provide us with updates on the progress of "Mission 26" and the status of the set milestones. The key performance indicators are shown separately for each year until 2026. This way, we can jointly ensure that we will meet the ambitious targets we are striving to achieve with our strategy, enabling GEA to pull its weight and make an overall contribution to a more sustainable world.

Let me end on a personal note: As you will know from last week's press release, I have decided to resign from the Supervisory Board and step down as Chairman of the Supervisory Board for personal reasons. I made this decision two weeks ago after careful consideration. In accordance with the Articles of Association, my resignation will take effect following a notice period of one month, which means on midnight of May 15, 2022. I am pleased that I still have the opportunity to chair this Annual General Meeting and personally say good-bye to you, dear shareholders. At the same time, I am convinced that Prof. Dieter Kempf, the long-serving CEO of Datev eG and former President of the Federation of German Industries, is an excellent candidate for succession, who brings a wealth of business and board experience to the company. Last week, the Supervisory Board unanimously resolved to endorse Prof. Kempf's appointment by the Düsseldorf Local Court, also electing him Chairman of the Supervisory Board - subject to his appointment by the court. We expect him to be appointed in the first half of May.

Due to the recent nature of my decision to resign from the Board, there was not enough time to put this personnel matter on the agenda of today's Annual General Meeting. Irrespective of these formalities, we consider it appropriate that Prof. Kempf is given the opportunity to briefly introduce himself to the Annual General Meeting in a video message. Following his court appointment, he will be up for election at next year's Annual General Meeting.

At this juncture, I would like to thank you, dear shareholders, for the trust you have placed in me. I am glad that, after an outstanding fiscal year 2021, I can leave the company in an excellent state when handing over the reins to my successor.


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GEA Group AG published this content on 21 April 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 22 April 2022 16:17:02 UTC.