At the Annual General Meeting of Deutsche Post AG held on 21 April 2009, around 2,000 shareholders approved the resolutions proposed by the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board by large majorities. Amongst other issues, the shareholders resolved to pay a dividend of €0.60 per share for financial year 2008. The total dividend therefore amounts to €725 million. Based on the year-end closing price of our shares, the net dividend yield is 5%. The dividend was distributed on 22 April 2009 and is tax-free for shareholders living in Germany. The Board of Management was authorised to buy back own shares totalling as much as 10% of the existing share capital. For the first time, shares may also be purchased using derivatives. In addition, shareholders authorised the company to increase its share capital by up to €240 million by issuing up to 240 million shares. The Annual General Meeting further provided its vote of confidence in the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board in financial year 2008 by a wide majority. Finally, the Annual General Meeting elected the following persons to the Supervisory Board: Dr Ulrich Schröder, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of KfW Bankengruppe; Dr Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP AG; and Dr Stefan Schulte, Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of Fraport AG.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting a decline in global economic output of 1.3% in 2009. Global trade will be affected by the recession to an even greater extent: The World Trade Organisation is projecting a decrease in trade volume of 9% compared with 2008.
In the United States, economic output is expected to decrease perceptibly in the first half of the year. Forecasts range from a moderate economic recovery in the second half of the year to a sustained weak phase. The IMF anticipates a GDP decline of 2.8% year-on-year.
Japan is one of the countries most affected by the global recession. GDP is likely to drop massively in 2009 (IMF: –6.2%). In China, whilst the pace of growth is expected to slow considerably in the current year, in comparison with other countries and regions economic momentum will remain high (IMF: 6.5%).
Economic output in the euro zone will likewise shrink markedly in 2009 (IMF: –4.2%). A notable strain on output will presumably come from exports. However, the economic recovery programmes initiated in many countries – in combination with the expansive monetary policy of the ECB – offer prospects of a stabilisation of the economy or even a moderate recovery in the second half of the year.
German GDP is likely to see a sharp decrease of almost 5% to 6% (German Institute for Economic Research, DIW: –4.9%; IMF: –5.6%; economic research institutes: –6%) in 2009. Exports, which are suffering heavily from the collapse in world trade, will represent the greatest drain on the economy. Private consumption, on the other hand, could remain stable.