Schibsted is a listed company that aims to provide a competitive rate of return based on healthy finances. Schibsted’s Board believes it is essential that the company’s shares are perceived to be an interesting investment alternative. It is therefore one of the Board’s goals to maximise the shareholders’ return through long-term growth in the share price and dividend. The Board will attempt to ensure that the price of the company’s shares reflects, in so far as possible, the company’s long-term earnings ability.
Investments in the Scandinavian media market, both online and print, are one of Schibsted’s main foundations. The media houses’ strong brands and market-leading positions help to ensure a stable, good cash flow. Online classifieds both in Scandinavia and internationally contribute strong, profitable growth. 2010 was a good year for Schibsted, with good earnings and improvements in many of the markets in which the Group operate. As a result of this, the Group’s financial flexibility was strengthened during the year despite acquisitions. At the end of 2010, the Group had a strong balance sheet, good cash flow and healthy liquidity position.
The strategy and vision adopted by Schibsted’s Board entail a high rate of change and development of the Group’s operations. Schibsted’s capital structure must be sufficiently robust in order to maintain the desired freedom of action and utilise 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 dividend at the upper part of the target interval provided the Group’s capital structure allows this.
The Group Board will advise the General Meeting to pay dividend of NOK 3 per share for the 2010 financial year. The total number of shares is 108 million, and a dividend of NOK 3 per share means a payout of around NOK 324 million.