Letter to the Sharholders
The transformation of the Kuoni Group was successfully completed in 2013. Withdrawal from tour operating activities in Italy, France and Belgium, as well as from the online platform Octopustravel, was completed during the year under review. The exit from these businesses cost less overall than originally planned.
Kuoni Group now has a broad-based global portfolio of activities. The various areas of business are well balanced geographically and in terms of activities, and are "asset-light". The proportion of turnover accounted for by traditional Tour Operating business has decreased from 75% (in 2010) to 41% (in 2013). Destination & Accommodation Services now account for 55% and Visa Processing Services for 4%.
The Board of Directors proposes shareholders to increase the dividend payout ratio. The aim is to distribute 40 – 45% (rather than the previous 30 – 35%) of
net profit. Accordingly, the Board of Directors is asking shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of 25 April 2014 to approve a distribution of CHF 1.50 per registered share A (2012: CHF 0.60) and CHF 7.50 per registered share B (2012: CHF 3.00) for the 2013 financial year. This corresponds to a payout ratio of 42.3%. The distribution will take the form of a withholding tax-free distribution against reserves from capital contributions.
Henning Boysen, Member of the Board of Directors of Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd since 2003 and its Chairman since 2006, has decided not to stand for another term of office. He will therefore leave the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on 25 April 2014. The Board of Directors is proposing to the AGM that it elects Heinz Karrer, Member of the Board since 2007 and Vice Chairman since 2012, as the new Chairman of the company.
The Board of Directors would like to offer Henning Boysen its thanks and appreciation for his many years at the top of the company.
In June 2013 the Board of Directors appointed Group Financial Officer Peter Meier ad interim Chief Executive Officer. Peter Rothwell, previously CEO of Kuoni Group, left the company.
A sustainable and responsible approach is embedded in the strategy and value chain behind all Kuoni Group’s business activities. The company has for many years worked on numerous initiatives and concrete projects in collaboration with hotels at the destinations to ensure environmental and social standards are met.
It also works with non-governmental organisations to combat the exploitation of people working in tourism and prevent the abuse of children. Kuoni Group was awarded by a leading global rating agency in 2013 for these efforts and the Kuoni shares qualify as an environmentally and socially sound investment.