BME’s General Shareholders’ Meeting, which was held today in Madrid, approved the annual accounts and proposal for application of the financial result of the year ended on 31 December 2018.
As of today Javier Hernani, CEO of the company, will be the top executive of BME. Antonio Zoido becomes non-executive chairman, following 17 years as the top executive of the company. In this period, BME has increased its profit by 132.5% and its revenue by 73.1%.
The Meeting also approved the distribution of a gross final dividend of 0.57 euros per share on May 10. With this payment, BME will remain as one of the companies with the highest shareholder remuneration of the Spanish stock market.
During his address Antonio Zoido reviewed the preceding year, a complex one but one in which the company managed to advance in its diversification to be less dependent on the trading volumes and showed strength and consistency in its results. The Chairman of BME highlighted the growing role of international investors in the Spanish stock market. "In 2018 their participation reached a record high as they owned 46% of the total market capitalisation, compared to 36.8% in 2008" he said.
In his speech Zoido also highlighted the role played by the Spanish stock exchange in attracting resources for companies, since in 2018 it channelled 15.2 billion euros in new investment flows through141 transactions, 4 more than in 2017. "Since the year 2000 the stock market has channelled new financing and investment flows with shares worth close to 780 billion euros, "he said.
He also highlighted the growth of MARF in 2018, as at year-end “the outstanding balance of issues reached 3.3 billion euros, up 46.9% year-on-year”.
Antonio Zoido stressed such improvements in corporate governance at BME as the increase in the degree of independence of the Board of Directors, which exceeds 50%, and its reflection in the composition of the Appointments and Remuneration Committee, in which independent directors constitute an overall majority.
The Chairman of BME thanked the shareholders and the Board of Directors for the support received over the years, which allowed him to have "the opportunity to lend my contribution and effort - alongside all other employees of BME, under the lead of the Board of Directors and the assistance of decisions overwhelmingly supported year after year by the General Shareholders' Meeting - to a clearly positive development of the company".
SPEECH BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Javier Hernani dedicated his speech to reviewing the most relevant aspects of the company's results in 2018 to then break down the main targets of the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan.
The CEO of BME stressed that "the results of 2018 were higher than expected and very sustained, considering that it was an exercise characterised by low trading volumes and very serious regulatory impacts". In this line, he acknowledged the effort by the BME employees, which has allowed to overcome successfully the challenges brought by 2018, such as the effective implementation of the European MiFID II directive, the services related to this regulation and the consolidation of Target 2 Securities.
Javier Hernani recalled that ratio of revenue not linked to trading volumes stood at 122% last year. Stripping out non-recurring items this ratio would be 128%. "The high diversification of revenues not linked to trading volumes allows us to have a more solid business which can withstand periods of low trading volumes" he said.
BME's ROE ended the year at 33.1%, more than 13 points above the sector average, while the efficiency ratio stood at 38.8%. "We continue to be leaders in the industry in terms of efficiency and cost-efficient management " said the CEO of BME.
He also stressed the main pillars of the company’s Strategic Plan: "In the three years that this plan spans we aim to raise net income by 4%, to between 337 and 347 million euros and increase net profit by 6% to between 157 and 167 million euros", noted the CEO of BME.
He also stated that “the challenge is to be more competitive, closer to clients to anticipate their needs and be more innovative. Our ability to innovate will be key to understanding the impact of new technologies, to incorporating new ways of working, and to providing successful solutions that boost our greatest qualities as a market infrastructure, as a neutral and efficient supplier. We have done it in the past, we will also do it in the future ".
At the end of his speech, Javier Hernani acknowledged the work of Antonio Zoido at the helm of BME. Among other achievements of his mandate, Hernani stressed that today the Spanish market is much more liquid and that its technology improvements have boosted the execution of orders over the last 17 years, from 28 to 410 million. He also recalled the growing role of international investors in the Spanish stock market and the increased funding channelled to companies over the past few years.
“Since the IPO of BME in 2006, 545 billion euros in new shares have been channelled to the market, which ranks us in first place among the major world markets in terms of market capitalisation and 2.5 billion euros in dividends have been distributed to our shareholders," he said.
The CEO thanked Antonio Zoido for his trust and his work at the helm of the company, stressing in particular his great capacity for work and his honesty, "always oriented to serve the company and always focused on the interests of BME’s shareholders and market participants".
Links to other documents of interest:
Speeches by the CEO and the Chairman:
Photos of the Meeting: