Schibsted is a listed company that aims to provide a competitive rate of return based on healthy finances. Schibsted’s Board of Directors believes it is essential that the company’s shares are perceived to be an interesting investment alternative. One of the Board of Director’s goals is therefore to maximise the shareholders’ return through long-term growth in the share price and the dividend. The Board will attempt to ensure that the price of the company’s shares reflects, to the greatest extent possible, the company’s long-term earnings ability.
One of Schibsted’s cornerstones is its positions in the online and print Scandinavian media markets. The media houses’ strong brands and market-leading positions help to ensure a stable, good cash flow. Online classified operations both in Scandinavia and internationally contribute strong, profitable growth. 2011 was a good year for Schibsted, with strong revenues and improvements in many of the markets in which the Group operates. As a result of this, the Group’s financial flexibility was strengthened during the year despite acquisitions being made. At the end of 2011, the Group had a strong balance sheet, good cash flow and healthy liquidity position.
The strategy and vision which in Schibsted’s Board of Directors has agreed on means the Group’s operations must adapt quickly and be highly developed. Schibsted’s capital structure must be sufficiently robust to maintain the desired freedom of action and to be able to exploit growth opportunities based on strict assessments relating to our allocation of capital.
Schibsted will place emphasis on having a fixed dividend payout ratio which, over time, is to be 25-40 per cent of the Group’s normalised cash flow per share. In years when there is an economic slowdown, the company will try to pay a dividend at the upper part of the target range provided the Group’s capital structure allows this.
The Corporate Board will recommend to the General Meeting that a dividend of NOK 3.50 per share is awarded for the 2011 financial year. The total number of shares is 108 million, and a dividend of NOK 3.50 per share means a payout of around NOK 374 million (adjusted for shares owned by Schibsted).