Press Releases and Statements
The Benetton Group Shareholders’ meeting approves the 2008 financial statements
Ponzano, April 20 2009 – The Benetton Group shareholders’ meeting, chaired by Luciano Benetton, approved the 2008 financial statements and the payment to Shareholders of a dividend totalling 48 million euro*, equivalent to 0.28 euro per share (0.40 euro per share in the previous year).
Luciano Benetton, addressing the Shareholders, stated “after a positive 2008 both for our Group’s results and its development, we are looking to the future with the optimistic realism of those who consciously choose to meet the difficult challenges that the near future holds, in a context that has radically changed in a short period of time.
We are now ever more integrated, innovative, rapid and effective. We can depend on an extensive, flexible distribution model, a network of accredited commercial partners, a quality, affordable product and a solid balance sheet.
We have over 40 years of market knowledge behind us, a wealth of experience and values, and a talented and flexible organization whose ability to seize opportunities means that it is ready to face the severest turmoil. On the other hand, it is at difficult times that we need to invest in our excellences, in the future of our stores, in high product quality and in customer satisfaction in order to continuously progress and be well positioned when the recovery comes.
At the same time, we need to focus on a purposeful and intelligent improvement in efficiency, with courage and a sense of responsibility.
This assumption of responsibility regards everyone – the shareholders and management team above all – because every energy, resource, idea, project and strategy must be consciously focused on the Group’s growth and value creation.
Benetton has a tradition and know-how that offer a sense of identity and belonging. We have confidence in our identity, our work and in ourselves. This is because we know that this is the surest path to development and growth. The future, once again, is in our hands.”
The Shareholders’ Meeting authorized the Board of Directors, in continuity with the resolution of the previous year, to purchase and sell Company shares with the terms and conditions illustrated below, subject to revocation, for the part not yet executed, of the authorization granted by the shareholders’ resolution of April 24, 2008.
Authorization was granted for the purchase of a maximum number of shares which, together with the shares currently held, does not exceed the limit of 10% of share capital and for a period of 18 months. The minimum purchase price is envisaged as not less than 30% under, and the maximum price not more than 20% over, the reference price recorded by the share in the stock exchange session preceding each individual transaction; the selling price is envisaged as not less than 90% of the reference price recorded by the share in the stock exchange session prior to each individual transaction.
Renewal of this authorization continues to enable the Company to acquire a portfolio of treasury shares, which may also be used to serve any share incentive schemes. The authorization also gives the Company the power to act on its own shares for the purposes and in the ways permitted by current legislative provisions, also taking advantage of any strategic investment opportunities.
The purchases will be made in markets regulated, organized and managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A. and in accordance with its procedures. The Company currently holds 10,345,910 treasury shares, corresponding to 5.663% of share capital.
The Benetton Group Board of Directors, meeting after the shareholders’ meeting, in compliance with the provisions of the Company’s “Internal Dealing Regulations”, identified the “Relevant Persons” and the blackout periods during which those Persons must refrain from carrying out any operations in Benetton shares, as being 15 and 30 days respectively prior to approval of the quarterly report or of the half year report and the draft financial statements.
*The coupon detachment date for the dividend will be April 27, 2009 for ordinary shares listed on the MIDEX and for ADSs.
The right to receive the dividend will apply to holders of shares on April 24, 2009 and to holders of ADSs on April 29, 2009. To be a holder of ADSs on April 29 and therefore to have the right to receive the dividend, the ADSs must be purchased by and no later than April 24, 2009.
The Benetton Group will pay the dividend in euro, through Monte Titoli S.p.A., authorised broker, on April 30, 2009, to all custodian banks for ordinary shares.
For holders of ADSs, the dividend will be paid to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, as depositary of ordinary shares against which the ADSs were issued, through BNP Paribas Securities Services, in its capacity as Italian sub-depositary. Deutsche Bank will pay the dividend on the ADSs in United States dollars on May 5, 2009, at the euro/US$ exchange rate in effect on or around April 30, 2009.
Declaration by the manager responsible for the preparation of company accounting documents.
The manager responsible for the preparation of company accounting documents, Lorenzo Zago, declares, in accordance with paragraph 2 of article 154b of the Tax Consolidation Act that the accounting information included in this press release corresponds with the documentary results, books and accounting records.
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