On 23 April 2009, the Stadthalle Olten was the venue for the first Ordinary Annual General Meeting of Alpiq Holding Ltd. (formerly Atel Holding Ltd). The company was created in February as a result of the merger of Olten-based Atel and Lausanne-based Energie Ouest Suisse SA (EOS). In his address to the 575 shareholders in attendance, Alpiq Chairman Hans E. Schweickardt stressed that even though the economy had recently declined, Alpiq was on the way up. "When the upswing comes, we aim to be ready for it," said Schweickardt. "Being ready also means setting realistic goals, and strengthening and extending our contribution to energy security in Switzerland and Europe. This is our core competence and that's why Atel and EOS have joined forces."
Dividend of ten francs per registered share
In its 115th and last year of operation, Atel achieved a record operating result despite the difficult general economic situation in the last quarter of 2008. Group revenue dipped to CHF 12.9 billion, while operating income (EBIT) was virtually on a par with the prior year at CHF 1 billion. While Group profit declined slightly, at CHF 733 million it was still impressive. The Board of Directors therefore proposed payment of a dividend of ten francs per registered share. Shareholders voted in favour of this proposal.
Shareholders approved both the consolidated 2008 financial statements of the Atel Group and the annual report and 2008 annual statements of Atel Holding Ltd., and took appreciative note of the excellent results recorded by the Energy Services segment, which grew revenue by 14 percent to CHF 2.2 billion and EBIT by more than 50 percent to CHF 133 million. The outstanding performance of EOS SA also put a smile on shareholders' faces. The company increased revenue by more than 50 percent to CHF 3.5 billion and doubled EBIT to CHF 229 million, increasing net profit by 137%.
Board of Directors confirmed in office
"With pro forma revenue of almost CHF 16 billion, EBIT of CHF 1.2 billion and more than 10,000 employees in 29 countries, Atel and EOS have provided Alpiq with an extremely solid base," said Schweickardt in his address. Schweickhardt was confirmed in office for a three-year term on the Board of Directors, as were his fellow directors Marc Boudier, Christian Wanner, Hans Büttiker, Philippe V. Huet, Alex Stebler, Urs Steiner and Giuliano Zuccoli.
Like the Chairman, Alpiq CEO Giovanni Leonardi touched on the future in his speech. The economic and political environment is in a state of flux, presenting Alpiq with a challenge, he said. However Leonardi took a hopeful view of the forthcoming tasks and challenges: "I am confident that we can ride out the storm. With our united strengths, and as a professional team that's ready for anything."
Prominent delegation from Swiss-Ski
The second part of the AGM was devoted to Alpiq's new partnership. For the coming three years, starting on 1 May 2009, the company will be sponsoring Swiss-Ski, the Swiss umbrella organisation for eight winter sports disciplines. Swiss-Ski graced the Alpiq AGM with a prominent delegation of visitors. Besides its Director, Hansruedi Laich, four world-class athletes honoured Olten's Stadthalle with their presence: Downhill ski aces Lara Gut and Didier Cuche, ski jumper Simon Ammann, and snowboarder Fränzi Megert-Kohli.
The well-known TV moderator Rainer Maria Salzgeber interviewed the athletes as well as Alpiq and Swiss-Ski representatives on the subjects of peak performance and energy.
Note: The speeches by Chairman of the Board Hans E. Schweickardt and CEO Giovanni Leonardi can be found online at www.alpiq.com. Both addresses are also available in video streaming format