Telefónica’s Centennial Shareholders’ Meeting Backs Management Historic

Telefónica’s General Shareholders’ Meeting convened today in Madrid marked a significant milestone as it saw an overwhelming approval of all proposed resolutions by the Board of Directors, with a historic level of support exceeding 99% across nearly all propositions. This resounding endorsement encompasses crucial aspects such as the company’s management and the shareholder remuneration policy for the fiscal year 2024.

Of notable significance, the AGM greenlit the disbursement of both the second tranche of the 2023 dividend, totaling €0.15 per share in cash and scheduled for disbursement in June, as well as the first tranche of the 2024 dividend, also amounting to €0.15 per share in cash and slated for payment in December. Additionally, the AGM has granted authorization for the company to effectuate the cancellation of approximately 1.4% of share capital through the repurchase and cancellation of its own shares.

Preceding the forthcoming Centenary celebrations of the company, José Maria Álvarez-Pallete expressed his gratitude to shareholders for their unwavering trust in Telefónica. He underscored the staggering allocation of €19 billion in shareholder remuneration over the past eight years alone, reaffirming his commitment “to continue sculpting a Telefónica that, in hindsight a century from now, will evoke a sense of pride akin to what we feel today.”

Moreover, Álvarez-Pallete extended his appreciation to Isidro Fainé, a longstanding member of the Board of Directors, for his invaluable and enduring contributions to the company.

Other key agenda items endorsed during the meeting encompassed the re-election of five directors for an additional four-year term, including Isidro Fainé, José Javier Echenique, Peter Löscher, Verónica Pascual, and Claudia Sender. Furthermore, the appointments by co-option of Solange Sobral and Alejandro Reynal, announced the previous December, were ratified.

The Board also gave the nod to a long-term incentive plan targeting senior executives of the Telefónica Group, designed with a five-year tenure divided into three distinct cycles. Additionally, PricewaterhouseCoopers was re-elected as auditor for the 2024 fiscal year, and the 2023 Annual Report on Directors’ Remuneration was ratified through a consultative vote.

Reflecting on Telefónica’s trajectory, José María Álvarez-Pallete delineated in his address to the Shareholders’ Meeting the company’s evolution towards a more robust and agile entity. He emphasized Telefónica’s unwavering commitment to purpose-driven innovation, citing the expansion of customer base to 388 million and the transformation of revenue streams to predominantly derive from next-generation connectivity and digital offerings, among other achievements.

Financially, Telefónica has undertaken substantial capital reallocation endeavors over the past eight years, encompassing a cumulative CapEx exceeding €71.5 billion, a debt reduction surpassing €22 billion, accumulated net income exceeding €21 billion, and cash generation nearing €40 billion.

Álvarez-Pallete envisages Telefónica as a stalwart entity primed for the challenges of the next century, asserting, “We are Telefónica, we take pride in it, and we stand ready.”

Looking forward, Álvarez-Pallete reiterated the imperative of anticipating and shaping the future, emphasizing the pivotal role of Telefónica in leveraging technology to address societal challenges. He underscored Telefónica’s commitment to a new social contract that prioritizes people over technology and announced the establishment of an Artificial Intelligence Ethics Monitoring Committee to engage stakeholders in ethical AI development.

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