Focus on future dividends and portfolio performance
DBAG maintains a regular dialogue with analysts who cover the DBAG share – and not just following publication of the Company’s interim reports. Discussions are especially intense after the consolidated financial statements are published, as the forecast for the new financial year is announced at the same time as the financial statements are released. And so, this year, in addition to the desire for further clarification of the figures for the past twelve months, the focus of attention was once again on what the future holds for the Group.
2020/2021: an exceptional year for DBAG
Chief Financial Officer Susanne Zeidler had the pleasure of reporting on a set of financial statements, with numerous key performance indicators reaching their highest levels since the introduction of IFRS accounting 16 years ago. She did, however, emphasise that the financial year 2020/2021 had been an exceptional year which could not easily be repeated. “Exceptional” and “remarkable” were key words used at the virtual conference. The CFO pointed out that DBAG cannot reasonably be expected to consistently increase the net asset value of its Private Equity Investment segment by 40 per cent in the future, as has recently been the case. Instead – in line with the Group' s long-term strategy – the focus should be on a sustainable increase in value, and on responsible investing. Please click here for further information on the Group's strategy. It is well worth noting that, in spite of the marked increase in net asset value – up 40 per cent, to 678.5 million euros – the Company still envisages double-digit annual growth rates between ten and 14 per cent over the medium term, from this clearly raised basis for comparison.
Questions about distributions and portfolio performance
During the Q&A session, questions were raised about possible differences in the performance outlook among the companies within the different sectors in which DBAG has invested. According to Ms Zeidler, the performance of those investments linked to manufacturing businesses and related service providers had been burdened; in view of the ongoing problems with global supply chains and continuing uncertainty due to the pandemic, it is unlikely that there will be a significant improvement in the year ahead either. The CFO was able to offer a much brighter outlook for investments in the growth sectors of broadband telecommunications, IT services/software, and healthcare software, where recent, distinctive value increases are expected to continue. Reference to DBAG's plans for maintaining its high pace of investing – whether through the funds it advises or using DBAG's own balance sheet – was also met with much interest.
DBAG's dividend policy was touched upon a number of times. As part of her response, Ms Zeidler referred to the long-term dividend strategy adopted by the Board of Management in 2016. DBAG's medium-term plan, which covers the current and subsequent two financial years, i.e. the period until 2024, incorporates a dividend distribution of 1.60 euros per share.