Zaandam, the Netherlands, April 14, 2021 – Today Ahold Delhaize held its Annual General Meeting (AGM), completely virtual, due to the COVID-19 health risk. Shareholders were asked to vote and submit questions in advance of the meeting, and they were offered the opportunity to ask follow-up questions during the meeting itself.
The voting rights of approximately 668 million shares were exercised. The meeting was webcasted live via the Ahold Delhaize corporate website.
Shareholders adopted Ahold Delhaize’s 2020 financial statements and agreed to the proposed 2020 annual dividend of €0.90 per common share for the full year. Therefore, a final dividend of €0.40 per share will be paid on April 29, 2021. This is in addition to the interim dividend of €0.50 per share, which was paid on August 27, 2020. Shareholders adopted all other proposals on the agenda, including the appointments of Jan Zijderveld and Bala Subramanian as members of the Supervisory Board.
PricewaterhouseCoopers was re-appointed as the external auditor of the Company for the financial year 2021.
During his speech, Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller said:
“As I look back on 2020, the coronavirus has had an enormous impact on all of us and on all the local communities which are close to one of our brands’ more than 7,000 stores. Our people have seen the hardship that the coronavirus causes every day. Customers, both online and in stores, have also felt the impact while they sought the safe familiarity of their daily shopping, amidst an atmosphere of great uncertainty. Associates across all our local brands, who number 414 thousand in total, have shown their commitment every day.
“In 2020, we were able to make major investments, totaling €2.6 billion. In the Netherlands alone, that amounted to €600 million. This enabled us to award contracts to both large companies and medium sizes businesses, like construction companies, painters, plumbers and to logistics and IT-companies. These investments also led to direct and indirect employment opportunities.
“We have greatly expanded our online capacity, with additional distribution centers, home shop centers, and most recently, an additional micro-fulfillment center in the US. We can now serve customers even better online, anytime and anywhere, in the way they want. For example, 87% of American households in our markets now have access to same-day pickup and delivery.
“Together with our strategy and our purpose, our newly adopted vision sets the course for our company: to create the leading local food shopping experience. Our brands do this together with local suppliers and partners. That is how we can best serve customers and their changing needs in the best possible way. These needs include support for healthier living and cooking more at home. They also include helping customers make more sustainable choices and enabling more frequent and faster grocery pick-up and delivery.
“We started 2021 in a position of strength which offers room for further growth. However, the outlook for this year is still uncertain due to the pandemic. That's why, in 2021 we will continue to do all we can to support associates, customers and local communities.”
This communication includes forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Words and expressions such as to be, vision, sets the course, leading, ready, future, position, enables, outlook, uncertain, certain, continue or other similar words or expressions are typically used to identify forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that are difficult to predict and that may cause actual results of Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. (the “Company”) to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the risk factors set forth in the Company’s public filings and other disclosures. Forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Company’s management and assumptions based on information currently available to the Company’s management. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and the Company does not assume any obligation to update such statements, except as required by law.