Close to 74% of share capital represented
Grifols underlines the importance of
plasma in its Annual General
The company makes a public appeal on the critical role of plasma and the need to increase donations in support of International Plasma Awareness Week, promoted by the Plasma Protein Therapeutic Association (PPTA)
Grifols' co-CEOs outline the company's main non-financial performance indicators and ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19
Shareholders endorse the company's management in 2019, which led to an upturn in revenues (13.6%) and net profits (4.8%) to EUR 5,100 million and EUR 625 million, respectively
Grifols continued to promote innovation and capital investments in 2019 as core drivers of its long-term and sustainable growth strategy, allocating a total of EUR 661 million toward
The company optimized its financial structure, lowering its average cost of debt and extending maturities following an effective refinancing process that was closed at the end of 2019
Barcelona, October 9, 2020.- Grifols (MCE: GRF, MCE: GRF.P y NASDAQ: GRFS), a global healthcare company dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of patients worldwide through the development of life-savingplasma-derived medicines, clinical diagnostics and pharmaceutical specialties for hospital use, and a pioneer in the research and development of therapeutic alternatives that drive scientific and social progress, celebrated its telematic Annual General Shareholders' Meeting on second call.
Due to the healthcare crisis generated by COVID-19 and supported by law, the 2020 General Shareholders Meeting was held exclusively by telematic means, without the physical presence of shareholders or their representatives, through remote connection and direct broadcasting, reaching a high participation.
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Grifols' General Shareholders' Meeting related to the 2019 financial year was represented by 448 shareholders, who hold 313.608.974 Class A shares and represent 73.6% of stock capital with voting rights. The votes delegated to the Board represented 78.3% of quorum and 57.6% of share capital, confirming shareholders' support of the Group's management and business plan.
More than EUR 3,150 million allocated to innovation and capital investments over the last five years
Grifols' revenues grew by 13.6% in 2019 to EUR 5,099 million, while its net profit increased by 4.8% to EUR 625 million. Both results highlight Grifols' progress toward its long-term and sustainable growth strategy, which led to sales increases in its main divisions in all regions of operation.
Grifols' operations in 2019 aimed to reinforce factors crucial to advancing its corporate growth plan, such as strategic investments to increase its access to plasma; efforts to strength the company's global presence; optimization of its financial structure; and a renewed focus on innovation and capital investments as key drivers of its growth.
The strategic alliance with Shanghai RAAS, announced in 2019 and closed in 2020, has enabled Grifols to boost its commercial presence in China, one of the world's fastest-growing markets for plasma-derived products and transfusion diagnostic solutions. In addition, the company also closed a transaction with GC Pharma (Green Cross Group) to acquire different assets in Canada, henceforth becoming the only large-scale manufacturer of plasma products in this country. Both transactions have significantly advanced Grifols' international expansion efforts.
Another important achievement in 2019 was the optimization of Grifols' financial structure. The company finalized a debt financing process, leading to a lower average cost of debt and longer maturities. The process was well accepted by the market and completed in record time. Grifols also reinforced its liquidity position in 2020 after signing an upsize of its multicurrency revolving credit facility. As of June 30, 2020, the company's liquidity position stands at EUR 1,900 million. The optimization and reduction of debt levels remains a priority for Grifols' financial management.
In 2019, Grifols continued to promote innovation and capital investments as key drivers of its long-term and sustainable growth strategy, allocating a total of EUR 661 million. Over the last five years, the company has allotted more than EUR 3,150 million to these core areas.
In terms of R+D+i highlights in 2019, Grifols completed its AMBAR (Alzheimer Management By Albumin Replacement) clinical trial, designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of plasma replacement therapy. This is a procedure combining periodic extractions of plasma through plasmapheresis with albumin and immunoglobulin infusions. As presented in several international conferences, AMBAR's findings demonstrate a significant slowdown in disease progression in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's. These positive results encourage Grifols to continue its research efforts on discovering the potential benefits of plasma protein replacement therapies.
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Grifols also announced an agreement to acquire the remaining capital of Alkahest, Inc. for USD 146 million to promote the research and development of innovative therapies based on the human plasma proteome to treat age-related diseases.
Alkahest currently has four candidates in six phase-2 clinical trials, including therapies to treat neurogenerative disorders, cognitive decline, neuromuscular and ophthalmological diseases. Alkahest has developed a map of the human plasma proteome, facilitating the identification of plasma proteins and their recombinant analogues as potential therapeutic solutions.
More than EUR 1,200 million allocated to dividends over the last 5 years
Grifols shareholders approved the allocation of EUR 250 million to dividends (approximately EUR 0.36 gross per share) in 2019. This amount includes the preferred dividend of EUR 0.01 gross per share of each Class B share.
The dividend was distributed in two payments: one already paid in December 2019 for EUR
0.20 gross per share and a second payment of EUR 0.16 gross per share, which will be distributed1 from October 28, 2020 onwards.
The company maintains its pay-out of 40% of the group's consolidated net profits. Grifols remains firmly committed to creating value for its shareholders, distributing more than EUR 1,200 million in dividends over the last five years.
Non-financial information and sustainability
Grifols' non-financial and corporate sustainability performance indicators in 2019 were presented during the General Shareholders' Meeting. This information forms part of the Integrated Annual Report (IAR), submitted by the company and approved by the Board of Directors reflecting on the company's long-standing commitment to transparency.
This publication aims to offer Grifols' main stakeholders a clear and comprehensive view of its social, environmental and economic performance and progress toward the objectives included in its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.
The non-financial information contained in the IAR was prepared in alignment with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) information requirements and recommendations, and verified by an external independent firm.
Research efforts in the fight against COVID-19
Grifols' ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19 were also disclosed during the General Shareholders' Meeting. The company is currently leading efforts in two of the three potential disease treatments for COVID-19. At the same time, it has joined efforts with other global authorities to increase the rate of diagnosis, which is vital to battling highly infectious diseases like COVID-19.
In terms of potential treatments, Grifols is leading the development of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune immunoglobulin using plasma from recovered COVID-19 donors. Following the
1 Carried out through Iberclear and its participating entities, with BBVA acting as the payment agent.
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approval of scientific protocols by the FDA and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a multicenter, randomized and double-blind clinical trial will assess the safety and efficacy of this hyperimmune immunoglobulin, produced in Grifols' Clayton plant (North Carolina, USA) among other manufacturers.
In parallel, the company is promoting and supporting several researchers and healthcare entities in the U.S., Spain and Germany in clinical trials using inactivated convalescent plasma, as well as other plasma-derived specialty products such as immunoglobulin, alpha-1 and antithrombin III.
With regard to diagnostic solutions, Grifols has developed a specific Transcription-Mediated Amplification (TMA) molecular test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in plasma, blood and respiratory samples. This test offers the same or even greater sensitivity than other molecular tests including PCR- (polymerase chain reaction) based diagnostics.
An appeal on the importance of plasma in support of the PPTA's International Plasma Awareness Week
Within the framework of Grifols' efforts to combat COVID-19 and discover the therapeutic potential of plasma to treat this infectious viral disease, the company made a global appeal on the strategic importance of plasma to ensure the health and quality of lives of thousands of people worldwide. Similarly, Grifols added its voice to the plea made by the Plasma Protein Therapeutic Association (PPTA), urging global healthcare authorities to take decisive action to increase the volume of plasma donations.
Plasma plays an essential role in global healthcare. Therefore, Grifols recognizes the generosity and commitment of all plasma donors in making plasma-derived therapies possible.
Approval of agenda items
Key agenda items ratified by the shareholders include:
Approval of individual and consolidated annual accounts
Re-electionof Víctor Grífols Deu, Thomas Glanzmann and Steve F. Mayer as members of the Board of Directors and approval of the appointment of James Costos
Appointment and re-election of auditors
Approval of the Annual Compensation of the Board in an advisory capacity
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Grifols SA published this content on 09 October 2020 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 09 October 2020 12:14:00 UTC