Moscow – The Board of Directors of PhosAgro (Moscow Exchange, LSE: PHOR), one of the world’s leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers, has recommended that the Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (“EGM”) approve a dividend payment in the amount of RUB 9.3 billion, or RUB 72 per ordinary share (RUB 24 per Global Depositary Receipt) from retained earnings as of 31 March 2019.
The EGM, which will be held by absentee ballot, has been scheduled for 24 June 2019 and the record date for shareholders eligible to participate in the EGM is 30 May 2019. The Board of Directors also approved the agenda of the meeting. The Board has recommended that the record date for shareholders eligible to receive dividends be set as 10 July 2019.
The Board of Directors made this recommendation after reviewing the Company’s financial performance and interim consolidated financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) for the first quarter of 2019, which are scheduled to be published tomorrow, on 16 May 2019.
An important decision taken by the Board of Directors at the meeting was the creation of a PhosAgro Board of Directors Committee for Sustainable Development. The proposal to establish the committee was put forward by PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev. The members of the Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Irina Bokova would be the best candidate to chair the newly-created committee. Irina Bokova is an independent director on PhosAgro’s Board of Directors and former Director-General of UNESCO (2009-2017); she was the first woman and the first person from Eastern Europe to lead the organisation. Irina Bokova played an active role in developing and approving the UN’s sustainability agenda.
The composition of the Committee for Sustainable Development and its chairperson are due to be determined at the first meeting of the Board of Directors after PhosAgro’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.
PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev said: "PhosAgro continues to deliver strong operating results, which support our impressive financial perofrmance. Our significant cash flow enables us to ensure stable dividend payments while also financing new investment projects and sustainability programmes.
“Sustainable development is an important element of our Strategy to 2025, and from the very first days after approval of the strategy, PhosAgro has been making significant efforts to strengthen its position in this area. Irina Bokova is a professional with unique expertise and many years of international experience, will play a key role in this process, and I would be pleased to welcome her as the chair of the Committee for Sustainable Development."
PhosAgro Chairman of the Board of Directors Sven Ombudstvedt said: "The successful completion of key investment projects under the strategy to 2020 have enabled PhoAgro to establish a solid foundation for long-term, sustainable growth and of stable cash flow generation, which makes it possible to consistently pay healthy dividends and to invest in growth projects, as well as social and charitable programmes.
“At the same time, we are paying increasing attention to issues of sustainable development and the creation of a Committee to oversee issues in this area, led by Irina Bokova, reaffirms the Company's commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which have been identified as a key priority in PhosAgro’s strategy to 2025. This will will contribute to the achievement of goals set out in the Company's strategy to 2025 and increase PhosAgro’s contribution to finding solutions to global issues."
PhosAgro Board of Directors member Irina Bokova said: "I am honored that the Board of Directors has discussed my candidacy for the chair of the Committee for Sustainable Development at PhosAgro, which is one of the world's leading producers of phosphate-based fertilizers. Despite the fact that I joined the Board of Directors little over a year ago, in this short period of time I have repeatedly seen PhosAgro's commitment to the principles of corporate social responsibility in every aspect of its activities.
“Having played an active role in the review and approval of PhosAgro’s strategy to 2025, I can say with confidence that the Company plans to continue to invest and implement initiatives aimed at preserving the environment, ensuring safe working conditions, developing the regions where it operates, implementing major social programmes and increasing its contribution to solving issues that currently face society.
“I think it is especially important to underscore the fact that the private sector plays a key role in achieving global sustainability priorities, and PhosAgro will take active part in this process.”
The Board of Directors also heard information on sustainabile development initiatives, such as ensuring compliance with regulatory OHS requirements at production facilities, compliance with environmental requirements, environmental safety and energy efficiency. Among the key information reviewed by the Board included:
- Occupational Health and Safety: PhosAgro constantly studies global best practices in the area of occupational health and safety, and has adopted policies and procedures that have made a significant, sustainable impact on its performance in this area.
- Environmental policy: PhosAgro implements a unified environmental management system across its production sites, and in 2018 the Company invested RUB 3.5 billion into environmental protection projects.
- Energy Efficiency: PhosAgro is continuously investing in upgrades and improvements across its production sites to improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption. One of the Company’s key initiatives has been the installation of electricity generation capacity that is integrated into the production sites. Going forwards, PhosAgro plans to further improve its energy efficiency by building its own generation capacity at it Volkhov production site, and by installing heat recapture units at its acid production capacities that will be used to generate additional electricity from heat generated in the production process.
The Board of Directors also heard information from the chairs of the Board committees on the results of their work in the first quarter of 2019, on implementation of its information policy, on selected international projects, an Insider Information Policy report on the implementation of the provisions of the law regarding restrictions on the use and circulation of insider information, and interested-party transactions.