leadf
logo-loader
RNS
viewMondi PLC

MONDI PLC - AGM Statement

Mondi Limited
(Incorporated in the )
(Registration number: 1967/013038/06)
JSE share code: MND ISIN: ZAE000156550

 in  and )
(Registered number: 6209386)
JSE share code: MNP ISIN: GB00B1CRLC47
LSE share code: MNDI

As part of the dual listed company structure, Mondi Limited and 
notify both the JSE Limited and the  of matters required
to be disclosed under the Listing Requirements of the JSE Limited and/or the
Disclosure and Listing Rules of the .



 - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS

ADDRESS TO SHAREHOLDERS BY THE JOINT CHAIRMEN, CHAIRMAN OF THE SOCIAL & ETHICS
COMMITTEE AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

, Joint Chairman, speaking from :

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the boards of Mondi Limited
and , we welcome you to the eighth annual general meeting of the . We are very pleased that you are joining us here in  and
there in . As is custom at our meeting, although we're on separate
continents with the use of modern technology,  and I, and our
fellow board directors, take great pleasure in being able to talk to you this
morning, as one.

As you know, we share the chair of the  and  and I
would both like to say a few words this morning about 's progress over the
last year. Imogen will then report on the social and ethics committee before
your chief executive, , reviews the Group's performance and
strategy in a little more detail as well as updating you on the Group's interim
management statement that we published earlier today. After this we will be
delighted, as a board, to take your questions. But first, let me introduce you
to your directors.

To my immediate left is , an independent non-executive director
and chair of the Mondi Limited social and ethics committee. Next to her is
, your chief executive officer. And on his left is , company secretary of Mondi Limited. Next to Philip is ,
your chief financial officer.

With  in , we have , an independent
non-executive director and chairman of the DLC sustainable development
committee. , our senior independent director and chair of the DLC
remuneration committee and beside her , company secretary of .

To David's right, we have , chief executive officer of the 
and International Division and, finally,  independent
non-executive director and chairman of the DLC audit committee.

For the benefit of our new shareholders I should point out that, although the
dual listed company structure means that Mondi Limited in  and
 in the  are separate corporate entities, each with its own board
and shareholders,  operates as a single corporate group, managed as a
single economic enterprise. The two companies have the same board members and
the same management team. The DLC structure means that shareholders in each
company fully share in the performance of the Group as a whole.

2014 was another successful year for the Group.  delivered exceptionally
strong results and also made significant headway with its strategic
initiatives. We continued to make progress in developing our packaging
interests in a sustainable way, expanded our packaging converting footprint
through acquisitions and completed a number of capital projects successfully.

's record financial performance and strong cash generation enabled the
Group to further strengthen its financial position in 2014. On the back of this
strong financial performance we are pleased to continue to offer shareholders
long-term dividend growth within the targeted dividend cover range of two to
three times, on average, over the cycle. The Boards have recommended a final
dividend of  cents per share. If approved, this dividend, together
with the interim dividend amounts to a total for the year of  cents per
share, an increase of 17% from 2013.

Before I hand over to , I would just like to highlight a few
areas in which we made particular progress last year.

At the end of 2014  employed some twenty five thousand people across more
than thirty countries, with a particularly strong presence in central ,
, north America and . Often, we are the single largest
employer in the areas in which we are located and with this comes a great
responsibility, which we take very seriously. We want  to be a
sustainable, socially-responsible business that makes a real and lasting
contribution to every community within which we operate.

We evaluate the economic and social impact of our operations on the local
community. This enables us to build tailored programmes that bring tangible
benefits to those communities. In 2014 we contributed  to
corporate social investment projects and charitable donations with a focus
mainly on education and health.

Here in , we continue to be a supporter of the government's policy
of broad-based black economic empowerment, which influences many of our
employment and procurement practices.

Collaboration is fundamental to the way we do things and we work with many
partners to find solutions to challenges and make progress together. An
important development for us was the three year strategic global partnership we
signed with  focusing on environmental stewardship in the
packaging and paper sectors through ecosystems management, manufacturing
practices and product stewardship.

All of these developments are covered in detail in our integrated report and
the sustainability section on our website, additional copies of our reports are
available today - or you can download these from our web site.

With that, I'd like to hand over to my co-chairman, , in .
David.

, Joint Chairman, speaking from :

Thank you, Fred.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the  annual
general meeting.

As a board we strive to maintain the highest standards of corporate governance
and best practice. Following the positive external board review conducted in
2013, we conducted an internal process in 2014. We consider these reviews
important and benefit from the opportunity to stand back and reflect on how we
can continue to perform effectively.

We openly discuss strategic decisions bringing a constructive level of
challenge and support.

In continuing to deliver long-term value we will take advantage of selected
growth opportunities, focusing particularly on developing the Group's packaging
interests. In addition, our aim is to fully realise the potential of
acquisitions made in recent years, successfully deliver ongoing capital
expenditure projects and continue to manage costs.

Safety remains paramount to all of us in the Group and for several years we
have continued to improve our overall performance. Our goal of zero harm is an
imperative for the business and safety continues to be a key item on the agenda
at every board meeting.

Our commitment to sustainability covers a wide range of aspects beyond safety.
We are particularly pleased with our continued progress in sustainable
forestry, the increased use of renewable energy sources, energy
self-sufficiency and reducing our reliance on carbon intensive energy sources.
Our significant capital investment projects have also contributed to
environmental improvements. You can read more about our achievements and
progress in our printed and online sustainability reports.

Considering the challenging economic environment many of our businesses
continue to face, 's ability to deliver strongly across the cycle is
testament to the quality of the business, the strength of our strategy and
especially our people. We thank all the  team for their determination,
innovation and focus on building a successful business.

I now hand you back to  and , who will provide the
report on the . Imogen.

, Chairman of the ,
speaking from :

Thank you, David.

During the year the committee focused on reviewing Mondi Limited's compliance
with the various obligations under the South African companies act and
regulation. This included social and economic development, broad-based black
economic empowerment, corporate citizenship, safety, health and the
environment, consumer relationships and labour, employment and skills
development and employment equity. While the report detailing the full extent
of the initiatives reviewed by the committee during the year can be found in
's integrated report I would like to highlight just a few.

In terms of the South African government's broad-based black economic
empowerment codes of good practice, an independent assessment confirmed that
 again maintained its status as a level three contributor in 2014.

In addition to 's partnership with , environmental
highlights included the ISO 14001 certification of forestry operations and a
successful  audit of forestry operations.

The work of Mondi Zimele, the small development initiative, has contributed to
growing small businesses in 's supply chain. Their employment footprint
was 2,600 jobs and in addition 400 potential entrepreneurs and business people
were trained in 2014.

In Mkhondo - Mpumalanga, through a public-private partnership with government,
 facilitates access to homes with security of tenure, basic services,
social amenities and economic opportunities for people currently living on
's land.

In conclusion, it is evident to the committee that  demonstrates a
commitment to sustainability and responsible business. Additional information
on these and other company initiatives can be found in both the integrated
report as well as the printed and online sustainable development reports.

With that, I'd like to hand over to your Chief Executive, . David.

, Chief Executive Officer, speaking from :

Thank you, Imogen.

As your chairmen have said, in 2014  had another very successful year with
strong contributions from all our business units. Underlying earnings per share
increased by 13% and our return on capital employed of 17.2% was a record for
the Group. Pleasingly, for the past four years we have consistently delivered
returns above the Group's through-the-cycle hurdle rate of 13%. The Group's
solid financial results, delivered despite continued slow economic growth in a
number of key markets, are testament to our robust business model and
high-quality low-cost asset base.

Revenue was broadly in line with the prior year. On a like-for-like basis,
selling prices and volumes were similar to the prior year with revenue boosted
by the acquisition of the bags business in , offset by
negative currency impacts and disposals or closures of non-core businesses.

Our packaging paper business continued to deliver very strongly despite a
generally weaker pricing environment, driven by cost reduction and currency
benefits.

The fibre packaging business benefited from lower paper input costs and good
volume growth.

Consumer packaging saw a strong improvement in trading in the second half of
the year. Coupled with the benefits of a number of sales and margin improvement
initiatives, the business was able to deliver a pleasing improvement in
year-on-year performance.

Uncoated fine paper came under pressure from weaker pricing and negative
currency effects, but nevertheless continued to deliver strongly, while the
South Africa Division benefited from higher average selling prices and the weak
rand.

Contributing to these results were the benefits from the recently completed
capital investments, primarily around energy efficiencies and cost optimisation
in the pulp and paper operations, and continued strong cost management across
the Group. Good progress is also being made with the integration of
acquisitions made during the year.

The Group continues to be strongly cash generative with cash generated from
operations exceeding .

Net debt of  was at similar levels to the previous year despite
a significant pick-up in capital expenditure on major projects and over  spent on acquisitions.

We are pleased that 's credit rating has recently been upgraded by
Standard and Poor's from BBB- to BBB stable. This follows the upgrade from
Moody's Investors Service from Baa3 to Baa2 last year.

While acquisition led growth remains a key component of our strategy, and we
will continue to evaluate opportunities as they arise, we currently see greater
opportunity for value-enhancing growth through capital investments in our
existing operations.

To this end we successfully completed a number of major projects during the
year, and have approved a strong pipeline of projects for implementation over
the coming two years.

In  our , 155,000 tonne per annum bleached kraft paper
machine in Steti,  was successfully started up and in November,
we commissioned the new  recovery boiler in Ruzomberok,
, making the mill 100% energy self-sufficient and significantly
improving its environmental footprint, in addition to reducing ongoing costs
and providing additional pulp production capacity.

In November we also completed the 100,000 tonne  pulp dryer in
Syktyvkar, .

The  project in Swiecie, , bringing forward the planned
replacement of the recovery boiler and coal fired boilers, is progressing
according to plan and on track for start-up in the second half of 2015.

Early this year, the Boards approved  for the second phase of
the Swiecie project to ensure full utilisation of the new recovery boiler's
capacity, providing an additional 100,000 tonnes per annum of softwood pulp,
80,000 tonnes per annum of kraftliner and further improving the mill's product
mix flexibility.

At the South Africa Division's  mill approximately 
was approved to upgrade its wood yard. Other significant projects in progress
or approved during the year, amounting to approximately ,
include projects intended to further modernise some of the Group's kraft paper
and converting operations, provide additional capacity and production
flexibility and reduce ongoing operating and maintenance costs.

As you know, earlier today we released our interim management statement. I
would like to take this opportunity to briefly summarise the main points of the
announcement.

First quarter underlying operating profit of  was 29% above the
comparable prior year period, on volume growth and lower input costs across
most of the European businesses, with good contributions from capital projects
and acquisitions, and higher selling prices in  and . The
result was 9% above the fourth quarter of 2014.

Average selling prices in  for all key paper grades were broadly in line
with those in the previous quarter and, with the exception of recycled
containerboard, also in line with the comparable prior year period. Average
benchmark recycled containerboard prices were around 6% lower than the first
quarter of 2014.

On a like-for-like basis, sales volumes were up across most businesses on both
the comparable prior year period and the previous quarter.

The Group benefited from generally lower input costs relative to the comparable
prior year period, driven in part by currency impacts. Wood costs, paper for
recycling, resin, energy and chemicals costs were all lower than the comparable
prior year period. Inflationary pressures in a number of the emerging markets
in which the Group operates are expected to increase going forward. In
addition, the recent recovery in the oil price is expected to negatively affect
the cost of energy, resin and chemicals.

The strengthening of the US dollar versus the euro provided a net benefit to
the Group and the weaker Russian rouble in the early part of the year had a net
negative impact on the domestically focused uncoated fine paper business offset
in part by the export-oriented Russian packaging paper operations. However,
during the quarter, the rouble strengthened sharply from its lows.

Good progress is being made on the Group's major capital investment projects,
with all projects proceeding on schedule and within budget.

Much depends on the macroeconomic environment. However, given the Group's
robust business model and clear strategic focus, management remains confident
of continuing to deliver industry leading performance and making good progress
for the year.

Now I would like to hand you back to our joint chairman .

Ends

We are : In touch every day

 is an international packaging and paper Group, employing around 25,000
people across more than 30 countries. Our key operations are located in central
, ,  and . We offer over 100 packaging and
paper products, customised into more than 100,000 different solutions for
customers and end consumers. In 2014,  had revenues of €6.4 billion and a
return on capital employed of 17.2%.

The  is fully integrated across the packaging and paper value chain
- from managing forests and producing pulp, paper and compound plastics, to
developing effective and innovative industrial and consumer packaging
solutions. Our innovative technologies and products can be found in a variety
of applications including hygiene components, stand-up pouches, super-strong
cement bags, clever retail boxes and office paper. Our key customers are in
industries such as automotive; building and construction; chemicals; food and
beverage; home and personal care; medical and pharmaceutical; packaging and
paper converting; pet care; and office and professional printing.

 has a dual listed company structure, with a primary listing on the JSE
Limited for Mondi Limited under the ticker code MND and a premium listing on
the  plc, under the ticker code MNDI.

For us, sustainable development makes good business sense. We don't just talk
about sustainability; we make it part of the way we work every day. We have
been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series since 2008 and the JSE's  (SRI) Index since 2007.Republic of South AfricaEnglandWalesJohannesburgJohannesburgLondonLondonEuropeSouth AfricaUKEuropeRussiaSouth AfricaSouth AfricaLondonLondonSouth AfricaJohannesburgJohannesburgthe United StatesCzech RepublicSlovakiaRussiaPolandRichards BayRussiaSouth AfricaEuropeEuropeRussiaNorth AmericaSouth AfricaMondi plc
(IncorporatedMondi plcLondon Stock ExchangeUnited Kingdom Listing AuthorityMONDI LIMITED AND MONDI plcMondi plcMondi
GroupMondi GroupMondiMondi
plcMondi plcMondiMondiMondiMondiMondiWWF InternationalMondiMondiMondiSocial and Ethics CommitteeMondi Limited Social & Ethics CommitteeMondiMondiMondiWWF InternationalForest Stewardship CouncilMondiMondiMondiMondiMondiMondiMondiMondiMondiMondi GroupMondiLondon Stock Exchange for MondiSocially
Responsible Investment13 May 2015April 2014Fred PhaswanaDavid WilliamsDavid WilliamsDavid HathornImogen MkhizeDavid HathornPhilip
LaubscherAndrew KingDavid WilliamsStephen HarrisAnne QuinnCarol HuntPeter OswaldJohn NicholasDavid WilliamsDavid WilliamsDavid WilliamsImogen MkhizeImogen MkhizeDavid HathornDavid HathornDavid Williams28.77 euro42 euroseven million euros1 billion euro1.6 billion euro100
million euro70 million euro128 million euro30 million euro166 million euro94 million euro30 million euro130 million euro236 million euro

Sponsor in :South AfricaUBS South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Quick facts: Mondi PLC

Price: -

Market: LSE
Market Cap: -
Follow

Create your account: sign up and get ahead on news and events

NO INVESTMENT ADVICE

The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is...

FOR OUR FULL DISCLAIMER CLICK HERE

14 min read