Value. Development. Annual Report 2009

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1 Value. Development. Annual Report 2009

2 Vision Mission Sophisticated customers in Europe and in selected global metropolises see Loewe as the leading premium brand in home entertainment systems. We attract our customers with products whose aesthetic appeal is timeless, with exclusive individuality, sensible technology and easy operation. Brief profile of Loewe AG Outstanding design, innovative technology and superior quality are features of all products sold under the Loewe premium brand. Technological highlights include: home entertainment systems with high-resolution picture quality, an integrated hard disk recorder and a digital TV receiver. The Company was founded in Berlin in Today, Loewe is a listed Group with approximately 1,000 employees. In fiscal 2009, Loewe achieved sales of EUR 324 million and EBIT of EUR 13.5 million. Loewe produces and distributes televisions, Blu-ray players, DVD recorders, audio components as well as multi-room solutions.

3 Key Figures (IFRS) The Loewe Group in Numbers EUR million Sales EBIT Net income/loss Earnings per share (EUR) Dividends per share (EUR) 0.25 * Non-current assets Shareholders equity Net bank liabilities Factoring Capital expenditure Depreciation and amortization Free cash flow Development costs Interest expense, net Number of employees 1,042 1, ,063 1,245 * Proposal to the Annual Shareholders Meeting on May 20, 2010

4 Key Figures

5 Perfection the Measure of all Things.

6

7 Contents Letter to Shareholders 5 Our Company 13 The Loewe Premium Strategy 14 Loewe in the Capital Market 15 Our Responsibility 27 Report of the Supervisory Board of Loewe AG 28 Corporate Governance 32 Corporate Social Responsibility 36 Management Report 43 Economic Situation 44 European Market for LCD TVs 45 Key Performance Indicators 48 Financial Performance 49 Report on Assets and Financial Position 53 Development and Production 61 Number of Employees 62 Opportunities and Risks of Future Development 69 Outlook 76 Consolidated Financial Statements, Notes 83 Consolidated Income Statement 84 Consolidated Balance Sheet 85 Consolidated Cash Flow Statement 86 Statement of Changes in Equity 87 Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements 88 Corporate Bodies and Offices Held 133 Responsibility Statement 138 Independent Auditor s Report 139 Service 145 Glossary 146 Financial Calendar 147 Publications 148 Contacts 149 Publication Credits 149

8 Gerhard Schaas Engineer, Chief Technology Officer Frieder C. Löhrer Engineer, Chief Executive Officer Oliver Seidl Graduate in business administration, Chief Financial Officer

9 Dear Shareholders, In a demanding fiscal year 2009, your Company has successfully maintained its position in the market and continues to be profitable. Nonetheless, we did not achieve everything that we had planned for the past year. While the development of business was very satisfactory in Germany, our most important market, the persisting difficult economic conditions in parts of Europe in particular severely strained our export business. This applies primarily to our important markets in Spain and the Netherlands. Despite the clearly lower sales and production volume than in 2008 and the ongoing expenses for the premium positioning, Loewe succeeded in generating a positive EBIT of EUR 13.5 million in 2009, compared to EUR 28.5 million in Loewe thus exceeded its EBIT forecast of October 27, 2009 of about EUR 12 million. The positive contribution to earnings was caused primarily by the marketing of our innovative home entertainment systems at more consistently stable prices than the competition. The sustained high share of largescreen TV sets in sales, more favorable procurement costs and the relatively strong sales in Germany also supported earnings. Due to the positive earnings contribution in 2009, we have decided to propose to the Annual Shareholder s Meeting on May 20, 2010 to pay a dividend of EUR 0.25 per bearer share. Loewe Group sales declined by 13 % from EUR 374 million to approximately EUR 324 million in the reporting period. As mentioned, business development in the different markets showed divergent trends. In our key market, Germany, we were able to maintain the high sales level of the previous year in entertainment electronics. Export sales of EUR 131 million reflected a decline of EUR 43.4 million. It is specifically in this area that the negative repercussions of the financial crisis have severely strained Loewe s business development, especially in Spain and the Netherlands. In those countries, the propensity to purchase durable goods was significantly below the level for Germany in This is also reflected in the especially negative market trend for LDC TVs in terms of value. Letter to Shareholders

10 The highlight of the 2009 financial year was once again the International Consumer Electronics Fair (IFA) in Berlin. With the motto Home Entertainment in Perfection, we presented innovative home entertainment solutions to visitors, including retailers from within and outside of Germany as well as national and international media representatives. All of our innovations represent minimalist design, intelligent technology and exclusive individuality a perfect combination in home entertainment. The new Loewe Reference home cinema system was the center of attention. The high-definition LCD set with an impressive 52 inch screen diagonal, 200Hz technology and overall depth of only 60 millimeters, the ultra-thin electrostatic speakers, and the Mediacenter introduced as the central switch-point for digital home entertainment once again set standards for technology and design. Of course, we have set ambitious goals for the current fiscal year Especially in light of the continued uncertain economic conditions, Loewe s primary task will be to continue to enhance the brand s premium character while at the same time increasing our Company s international orientation, in order to attain profitable growth. But what does that mean in concrete terms? We will continue to expand our position in the key European markets by continuously upgrading the points of sale in particular in Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Spain. This is where we currently see the greatest potential. Furthermore, we will continue to present the Loewe brand in a unique and uniform fashion wherever customers come into contact with it. Another crucial factor for Loewe s success is to expand the close and trusting cooperation with qualified retailers. Together with our retailers, we will approach customers in the best possible way with customer relation concepts suitable for Loewe. The better we know our customers and their individual needs, the more specific will be our service to them. Moreover, Loewe will continue its product offensive in the current year with the launch of large-screen, high-definition LCD TVs with LED backlighting. In the future, the product portfolio will be even more closely tailored to the international product requirements of the core markets. Loewe will continuously enhance its home entertainment systems line in 2010 adding new innovative speaker and multi-room solutions Loewe AG

11 Despite the negative impact of the financial crisis on the European economies, the conditions for Loewe remain favorable. The heightened brand awareness of consumers, new LCD TVs with LED backlighting, the high replacement demand due to the dynamic spread of digitalization in conjunction with high-definition television (HDTV) and the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa are having a positive impact on demand. The Company expects sales to grow moderately in the current 2010 fiscal year. Loewe s innovative home entertainment solutions put it in a very good position for repeating its high level of sales in Germany in Profitable double-digit growth in sales will be realized in the other key European markets. As a premium brand, Loewe will continue to focus systematically on results with cost discipline and value-based marketing and expects EBIT for 2010 as a whole to remain at the level of the previous year. Moreover, Loewe s sound capital structure and wide-ranging financing agreements put the Company in an optimal position for the future. Sincerely yours, Frieder C. Löhrer Chief Executive Officer of Loewe AG Letter to Shareholders

12 Light. Form Loewe AG

13 Loewe Reference

14 Home Entertainment in Perfection. If perfection means reaching the summit, then that s what Loewe has done with its Reference home entertainment center. Design, technology, and craftsmanship redefine the realm of what is possible. The Loewe Reference stands out like a sculpture. Everything you need for total home entertainment is already built in. Intuitive operation is your guarantee for pure enjoyment. The electrostatic loudspeakers alone are visual masterpieces. Slender, slightly inclined, to echo the form of the television, they fill the room with clear, opulent sound. Leading with new ideas: it s how Loewe paces the market in high-quality LCD televisions Loewe AG

15 Loewe Reference

16 Loewe AG

17 Our Company Loewe premium strategy ensures lasting success Cooperation with retailers further expanded Moderate rise of Loewe stock in difficult market environment Loewe well established in the SDAX Analyst coverage continues at a high level Contents The Loewe Premium Strategy 14 Loewe in the Capital Market 15 Our Company

18 The Loewe Premium Strategy Value-based management ensures lasting success Our daily work is rooted in Loewe brand values In past years, we have consistently pursued our vision of making Loewe the most significant international premium brand for home entertainment systems. And our success confirms this strategy: We inspire our customers with products that are characterized by timeless elegance, the most advanced technology, and intuitive use. The Loewe premium brand is based on minimalist design, meaningful innovation and exclusive individuality. Loewe creates a fascinating world of brand experience that finds its source in attractive and individual products but also includes essential attributes like brand communication and premium service. Our customers should be able to experience the brand clearly and authentically in all areas. Loewe has achieved a strong brand position in the premium segment in Europe. This successful development is accompanied by growing expectations of all stakeholders, including customers, shareholders, employees and the public as described in the quadrangle of interests on page 36. We see the task of value-based management as bringing disparate interests into balance. We feel this is the only way to achieve profitable and sustained growth. In light of the continued uncertain economic conditions in Europe, Loewe s primary task in future years will be to continue to enhance the brand s premium character while at the same time increasing the Company s international orientation, in order to attain profitable growth. In the medium term, Loewe wants to play the prominent role in the premium segment in the core European markets that we already occupy in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as the Benelux countries. The Loewe Fit for Future program aims to enhance Loewe s competitiveness Due to the difficult market conditions in 2009, for premium providers in particular, we made additional efforts toward achieving our goals beginning in the third quarter. These efforts especially find expression in the Loewe Fit for Future program which is directed toward sustainably enhancing Loewe s ability to compete in product creation and innovation, a comprehensive market approach and cost efficiency. The program already began to bear fruit last year. In response, we will establish Loewe Fit for Future as a continuous improvement process as part of our value-based corporate management. International growth Loewe is continuing to pursue a clear strategy and will expand our company s position in the key European markets by continuously upgrading the points of sale in particular in Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Spain. We currently see the greatest potential in these markets. We will continue to consistently present the Loewe brand in a unique and uniform fashion wherever customers come into contact with it. Moreover, Loewe will in the future take greater advantage of opportunities in the international hotel business to enthuse discriminating hotel guests about the brand and also open up additional sales potential. Close cooperation with retailers will be further expanded Loewe intensifies its presence among retailers Another crucial factor for Loewe s success is the close and trusting cooperation with qualified retailers in Europe. Loewe will go one step further and expand premium marketing jointly with its retail partners. In doing so, we will combine two objectives: enhancing the brand-appropriate presentation at the point of sale and also rooting it in the market situation in order to approach customers even more actively. To that end, Loewe will intensify its presence in galleries, Partner-Plus dealers and partners Loewe AG

19 We would like to approach customers in the best possible way with customer relation concepts suitable for Loewe. In the future, both retailers and Loewe itself will make greater efforts to meet customers needs. The better we know the customers and their individual needs and systematically maintain this information in a database, the more individualized will be our service to them. As a premium brand, Loewe has a strategically critical potential for development in this area, as our target group in particular expects a personal approach and excellent service. In the past fiscal year, we began the pilot phase of our optimized customer relationship marketing. Emanating from Germany and Austria, it was introduced in all relevant Loewe markets in early Despite the negative impact of the economic and financial crisis on the European economies, the conditions for Loewe remain favorable. The heightened brand awareness of consumers, new LCD TVs with LED backlighting, the high replacement demand due to the dynamic spread of digitalization in conjunction with high-definition television (HDTV) and the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa are having a positive impact on demand in the current fiscal year. Loewe systematically pursues the course of combining exceptional product designs with the most advanced technology. FIFA World Cup in South Africa increases demand The market launch of the Loewe Reference design audio-video systems and Individual Mediacenter will more than ever before make Loewe into the system provider that already today takes into account the future requirements of a networked household. New technologies like 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray player and even more individual operating concepts will offer Loewe attractive growth opportunities that will last beyond the current fiscal year. But for all of that, Loewe will continue to focus on premium-based, value-oriented marketing of its top-quality home cinema solutions in the future. This could limit the Company s growth in sales; however, it will support the premium character and sustained profitability of the Loewe brand. Loewe in the Capital Market In fiscal 2009, Loewe successfully maintained its position in a persistently difficult market environment and surpassed its own EBIT forecast through the value-based marketing of its innovative home entertainment solutions. Sales, however, were substantially impacted by the negative consequences of the global financial and economic crisis, with exports being particularly hit. In addition to the general corporate strategy, Loewe s capital market communications in 2009 remained focused on the continued high quality of earnings in the face of significant sales declines in the most important export markets. Another focus was differentiation from other market participants. Capital market communications focus on high quality of earnings in the face of sales declines Moderate rise of Loewe stock in difficult market environment The repercussions of the global financial and economic crisis dominated the equity markets at the beginning of the 2009, with global indices continuing the negative trend of Alarming economic data remained the dominant theme in the equity markets. In January of 2009, German industry reported the most dramatic decline since reunification with a drop in new orders of 27.2 % for November Exports in the fourth quarter of 2008 declined at a level last seen in At the beginning of the reporting season, large U.S. corporations released disappointing earnings figures and a pessimistic outlook for the year as a whole. The subsequent edginess of market participants led to a continued decline in prices and persistent high volatility. Our Company

20 Key data for Loewe stock ISIN-Code DE WKN Frankfurt Stock Exchange LOE Reuters XETRA trading LOEG.DE Frankfurt Stock Exchange LOEG.F Bloomberg XETRA trading LOE GY Frankfurt Stock Exchange LOE GF Although Loewe was no exception to the general market trend, Loewe stock achieved a turnaround significantly earlier than the general market. The key figures for fiscal 2008 announced at the end of January, which again exceeded the already higher forecasts, marked a turning point of the price trend. We quickly left the January low of EUR 5.80 behind us and began a sustained recovery. The global capital markets saw a gradual recovery throughout the first quarter with the most positive signs being in the financial sector. Citigroup s announcement in March of astoundingly good results for the first two months of 2009 was the signal that the market turnaround had been accomplished; other financial institutions followed up with good results. The G20 states instituted economic stimulus programs rising into the billions. Increases in new orders, rising construction investments and improving economic outlooks bolstered the burgeoning hopeful expectation at the beginning of the second quarter and contributed significantly to the recovery of the international stock markets. The announcement of the record profit for fiscal 2008 and the prospect of a dividend twice as high as in the previous year reawakened investors interest in our Company and another round of price increases pleased the shareholders. Investor insecurity and the continued absence of complete confidence in German second-tier stocks was reflected in the omnipresent volatility of the capital markets. Consistent with the general market, Loewe stock recovered steadily but continued to be plagued by severe price fluctuations. Purchases by dividend-oriented investors raised the price to a preliminary high for the year of EUR 9.85 in advance of the Annual Shareholders Meeting. Recession anxieties negatively influence the markets at mid-year Nascent recession anxieties based on revised economic expectations of the IWF and the OECD as well as the decisions of the G8 states to reduce budget deficits had a negative influence on the markets at mid-year. Global indices resumed their decline again. Shortly after, higher than expected first-half results of several U.S. blue chips and the improvement of early indicators for industrial production in the U.S. again pushed stock prices upwards. Positive statements by Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve Bank, regarding a bottoming out, also underscored the end of the recession and led global equity markets to new highs. Against this backdrop, Loewe stock reached its high for the year of EUR Loewe AG

21 The persistently difficult economic conditions in large parts of Europe in particular had significantly strained Loewe s export business up to this point in time. Loewe management took this development into account in the announcement of the figures for the first nine months at the end of October by revising the sales guidance for the fiscal year as a whole and substantiating the EBIT guidance. Loewe stock was severely battered in significantly higher trading volume. The support provided by the 200 day moving average, which is an important indicator for technical analysis, proved to be sustainable and stopped the price decline at EUR Loewe stock subsequently tended to move sideways in volatile trading. Negative reports such as the bankruptcy of the CIT Group, the largest U.S. financier of mid-sized companies, and the troubled government-owned holding company Dubai World still produced volatility at times; however, the growing optimism of market participants prevailed. Strong business results of several large caps and encouraging economic data from the German IFO Institute reinforced this trend, which was bolstered further by promising data on German industrial production. As a result, stocks rallied at year-end. The DAX closed 2009 at 5,957 points, gaining 23.8 %, a level that most market participants would have considered impossible at the beginning of the year. The aggressive provision of liquidity and loans for banks and business as well as the economic stimulus programs ultimately succeeded in preventing the feared market collapse. Provision of liquidity and loans prevents market collapse Loewe stock also closed the trading year on a positive note. After the severe fluctuations over the course of the entire year, our stock closed the year at EUR 9, recovering from its lows by more than 55 %. On an annual basis, Loewe stock posted a moderate gain of 4.5 %. Loewe stock performance from December 30, 2008 to December 30, 2009 indexed against SDAX (Frankfurt), Loewe AG, SDAX Loewe established in the SDAX Since being reinstated in the German selection index SDAX on December 22, 2008, our stock has proven to be relatively robust compared to many SDAX stocks. Loewe stock again became firmly established in the SDAX in fiscal Loewe has continuously met the stringent criteria of Deutsche Börse with regard to market capitalization and trading volume since mid The ongoing presence in the SDAX permanently brings our stock to the attention of potential investors within and outside Germany, as well as index-focused analysts and the public. Our Company

22 Stable and broad shareholder structure All items on agenda passed with only a few opposing votes In the eleventh year after the initial public offering, the shareholder structure of Loewe AG continues to be marked by a free float of 55.8 % of the share capital. Approximately 15,000 securities accounts with Loewe shares were registered for the Annual Shareholders Meeting at Alte Kongresshalle in Munich on May 26, 2009, and all seven items on the agenda were adopted with only a few opposing votes. A total of 230 Loewe shareholders and guests attended the Annual Shareholders Meeting. Since the last capital increase in 2005, Sharp Corporation, Osaka, Japan, continues to hold its 28.8 % stake in the Company, with Loewe corporate bodies, management members and their families holding another 15.4 %. In addition, the London financial investor EQMC Fund (EQMC) has held 10.1 % of the share capital of Loewe since June EQMC is a longer term investor and plans to support Loewe in the execution of its premium strategy. Accordingly, the financial investor is a part of the stable and broad shareholder structure of Loewe and will participate in the future development of the Company. Shareholder structure of Loewe AG % % % Free float Sharp Corporation, Japan Members of the Supervisory and Executive Boards and their families Loewe received no reports of shareholdings of 3 % or more in fiscal year The percentage of Loewe shares held by institutional investors from within and outside of Germany increased slightly, compared to the previous year, in the wake of ten successful roadshows at the most important financial centers in Europe Loewe AG

23 Key figures for Loewe stock Year-end closing price Xetra (EUR) Annual high Xetra (EUR) Annual low Xetra (EUR) Average daily trading volume (Xetra + Frankfurt) 15,781 26,030 37,907 53,303 28,741 Number of shares as of December 31 13,009,229 13,009,229 13,009,229 13,009,229 13,009,229 Market capitalization on December 31 (EUR million) Earnings per share (EUR) Dividend per share (EUR) 0.25 * * Proposal to the Annual Shareholders Meeting on May 20, 2010 Source: Bloomberg Investor relations activities Our investor relations activities are chiefly aimed at continuously increasing the confidence of our shareholders and investors as well as the interested public through transparent and dialog-based communication. Furthermore, we strive to maintain and expand the existing coverage of Loewe stock by prominent banks, thus nurturing investor interest. Comprehensible, transparent and timely information builds trust In addition to the annual DVFA analysts conference at the close of the year and the Loewe Investors Conference at the IFA International Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin, conference calls were held as usual in English for analysts and financial journalists in connection with the 1st and 3rd quarter interim reporting and the six months financial report. Furthermore, Loewe was represented at capital market conferences in Frankfurt and London. Our presence in the European capital market has been increased even further in the past fiscal year. We presented our equity story at ten international roadshows in more than 60 individual conversations with fund managers. In addition, management participated in personal discussions with analysts, institutional investors as well as business and financial journalists at Loewe s headquarters in Kronach, Germany. The Annual Shareholders Meeting on May 26, 2009 in Munich was the most important investor relations event for the Company s private shareholders. As in the years before, details of the Annual Shareholders Meeting were available for download for several weeks after the meeting on Loewe s website, Our web pages offer current information, details about Loewe stock, investor relations events, analysts estimates and presentations as well as a separate service area. Our Company

24 IR events 2010 February 5, 2010 Roadshow Zurich March 25, 2010 DVFA Analysts Conference Frankfurt March 26, 2010 Roadshow Frankfurt April 2010 Roadshow Milan May 5, st quarter 2010 Kronach May 12, 2010 Small & Mid Cap Symposium London May 20, 2010 Annual Shareholders Meeting Munich June 2010 Roadshow Geneva August 4, st half 2010 Kronach August 9, 2010 Roadshow Frankfurt August 10, 2010 Roadshow Paris September 6, 2010 Investors Day at IFA Berlin September 17, 2010 Roadshow Munich October 6, 2010 Roadshow Vienna November 3, st 3rd quarter 2010 Kronach November 9 10, 2010 Roadshow Scandinavia November 22 24, 2010 German Equity Forum 2010 Frankfurt December 2010 Roadshow London Excellent capital market communication Loewe No. 2 in the SDAX Excellent investor relations work Loewe achieved an outstanding 2nd place in the category SDAX in the German Capital Investor Relations Preis. The screening performed in 2009 focused on the quality of investor relations work. Inquiries were made with almost 400 analysts and fund managers in roughly 300 financial institutions within and outside of Germany. The German business magazine Capital and the German Association for Financial Analysis and Asset Management (DVFA) annually award the prominent Capital Investor Relations Preis to companies for particularly prudent and credible communication with private and institutional investors. Moreover, the Loewe 2008 annual report was awarded the red dot award for communication design. An international jury on behalf of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen paid tribute to the high design quality of this primary instrument of capital market communication. In addition, the 2008 annual report received the respected if communication design award 2009 in the category print media Loewe AG

25 Analyst coverage continues at a high level A large number of analysts again closely observed and comprehensively evaluated Loewe during the past fiscal year. The following table lists banks that regularly prepare research reports on Loewe and also provide information concerning significant key points of the analysts assessment and lists them by name (last revised: February 10, 2010): Name Date Sales EBIT EPS Target Price Rating LBBW, S. Wittwer Feb 4, HOLD DZ Bank, A. Rautenberg Feb 4, BUY Goldman Sachs, R. Dreyer Jan 29, BUY equinet, I. Faust Jan 27, BUY Sal. Oppenheim, Dr. A. Gronski Jan 26, NEUTRAL HSBC, T. Britsch Jan 27, NEUTRAL Average Trading volume lower Compared to the previous year, the number of shares traded in the SDAX was down by more than onehalf in While almost 1.4 billion shares were traded in 2008, the number for 2009 was only 644 million. Trading volume of Loewe stock followed this market trend; however, the reduction was not as severe as in the SDAX as a whole. In the fiscal year 2009, an average number of almost 16,000 shares was traded per day, fewer than in the same period of Loewe stock is traded on all German stock exchanges and on the XETRA electronic trading platform. As in previous years, the transaction levels are highest on XETRA and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Dividend A resolution will be proposed to the Annual Shareholders Meeting to be held at Alte Kongresshalle in Munich on May 20, 2010 that a dividend be paid for fiscal 2009 in the amount of EUR 0.25 per share. Loewe s IR team Loewe AG Industriestrasse Kronach Germany Phone: + 49 (0) Axel Gentzsch + 49 (0) Anja Fröba Fax: + 49 (0) Internet: Our Company

26 Choice. Possibilities Loewe AG

27 Loewe Individual

28 Loewe AG

29 One of a Kind. Having taste means making choices: deciding for some things but also deciding against other things. Deciding for quality, taste, functionality. Deciding against frivolousness, excessive ornamentation, redundancy. Every one of Loewe s customers has individual expectations and individual tastes. Our customers are one of a kind and they like to express that uniqueness through their clothes, their furniture, and their home entertainment. The Loewe Individual permits self expression, affording nearly one million possible variations. That means that each Individual home entertainment system is also one of a kind just like its owner. And the housing, just six centimeters deep, complements today s decors. Loewe Individual

30

31 Our Responsibility Dedication to the German Corporate Governance Code All recommendations implemented with one exception Loewe code of conduct defined and communicated Value-based management as a permanent responsibility Contents Report of the Supervisory Board of Loewe AG 28 Corporate Governance 32 Corporate Social Responsibility 36 Our Responsibility

32 Dr. Rainer Hecker Chairman of the Supervisory Board Report of the Supervisory Board of Loewe AG Dear Shareholders, In a persistently difficult market environment, the Loewe Group successfully asserted its position in the market in fiscal 2009, while unfortunately not reaching its significantly higher sales targets. The negative consequences of the global financial and economic crisis have had a substantial impact on Loewe s export business. This applies in particular to the important Spanish and Dutch markets. Despite the significantly lower sales and production volume and continued expenses for the premium positioning of thre Loewe brand, Loewe again generated a positive contribution to earnings and surpassed its own EBIT forecast in In exercising the responsibilities incumbent upon it in accordance with statutory regulations and the Company s articles of association, as well as the principles of the German Corporate Governance Code, the Supervisory Board continuously oversaw the management of the Company and the Group, provided advice on basic policy issues and discussed all significant business transactions with it. The Executive Board informed the Supervisory Board regularly, promptly and comprehensively concerning all decisions of central importance to the further development of the Company. Significant subjects of discussion were the development of business, the earnings and financial position, the human resources situation as well as corporate planning, capital expenditure projects and risk management. The primary themes in particular included the Loewe premium strategy, the 2008 financial statements, the development of business in 2009, the budget for fiscal 2010 and the amendments of the German Act on the Appropriateness of Executive Board Remuneration (VorstAG). Between the board meetings, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board regularly exchanged information with the Executive Board, in particular regarding business strategy, corporate planning as well as important single events such as the appointment of senior executives Loewe AG

33 The Supervisory Board devoted special attention to the majority acquisition by Loewe AG of the nonlisted multimedia company MacroSystem Digital Video AG. The acquisition was the subject of two meetings of the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board gave support and encouragement to this process and saw the majority acquisition as a good opportunity for Loewe to further strengthen its development competence and gain additional expertise in multimedia networking. The Supervisory Board is supported in the effective performance of its responsibilities by three committees: the personnel committee, the audit committee and the nominating committee. Please refer to page 133 et seq. of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a detailed summary of the composition and competencies of the Supervisory Board, and of the three committees. In fiscal 2009, the Supervisory Board continued its intensive review of the development of the Corporate Governance Principles. All recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code issued by the Government Commission and most recently updated on June 18, 2009 will be fully implemented except for sub-section (4) sentence 1 of the Code. On November 27, 2009 the Executive Board and Supervisory Board published the new Declaration of Conformity which is included in the joint Corporate Governance Report on page 32 et seq. During the period under review, the Supervisory Board met four times, and the audit committee also met four times. The current position and the anticipated business development of the Loewe Group and its subsidiaries were discussed in each meeting of the Supervisory Board. In addition, the Supervisory Board always discussed in detail the Executive Board s reports and delivered its vote on this basis. All members of the Supervisory Board participated in all the Supervisory Board meetings except for the meeting on December 10, The member of the Supervisory Board who was absent from this meeting was provided information by the Executive Board separately and in a timely manner. In preparation for the Supervisory Board s financial statements meeting, the audit committee in its meeting of March 10, 2009 primarily reviewed the process and the accounting documents of Loewe AG and the Loewe Group as of December 31, The order of events, essential findings and the results of the audit were discussed with the auditor. According to the conclusive result of its own review, the audit committee approved the presented accounting documents. In addition, the Executive Board described the current state of risk management in the Loewe Group. Current changes in risk assessment were presented and discussed in detail. The meeting on March 19, 2009 focused on the presentation, discussion and review of the financial statements and management report of Loewe AG as well as the consolidated financial statements and the Group management report for the year ended December 31, The auditors were also present at this meeting to report on the course of the audit and were available to answer additional questions by the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board approved the accounting documents and thus adopted the financial statements for the year ended December 31, Furthermore, the Supervisory Board adopted the recommendation for the agenda of the Annual Shareholders Meeting held in Munich on May 26, Prior to the Annual Shareholders Meeting on the same day, the Supervisory Board meeting on May 26, 2009 focused on day-to-day reporting by the Executive Board as well as the state of risk management in the Loewe Group. On the same date, the status quo in risk assessment was again presented and explained. Our Responsibility

34 The meeting of the audit committee on September 17, 2009 focused on the numerous changes to legal provisions. In particular the need for action arising for Loewe from the new German Accounting Law Modernization Act (BilMoG) as well as the changes to the German Corporate Governance Code were discussed in detail and appropriate actions were defined. The immediately following Supervisory Board meeting focused on the results of the International Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin and the key points of the Loewe Strategy Based on the expected market and price trend in the strategy period, the discussion focused on the revised and updated Loewe Balanced Scorecard as a comprehensive control instrument as well as the financial targets. This meeting also included the presentation and discussion of the amendments to the Corporate Governance Code and the German Accounting Law Modernization Act, which had been brought up earlier in the audit committee meeting, and the recommended actions were adopted. The Supervisory Board Meeting on December 10, 2009 focused on ongoing reporting, and the detailed discussion and adoption of the budget for It takes into account the improved economic environment in which the LCD TV market will continue to grow in Europe in the next few years, due in particular to the high replacement demand and increasing ownership of more than one set. Among other things, the Supervisory Board also discussed the planning premises and the utilization of the sales potential in connection with the expanded programming in high-definition television and the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa. In light of this, Loewe anticipates moderate growth in sales for all of fiscal year As a premium brand, Loewe will continue to focus systematically on results with cost discipline and value-based marketing. The annual financial statements of Loewe AG for the year ended December 31, 2009 and the management report for fiscal 2009 were prepared in accordance with the principles of the German Commercial Code and the German Stock Corporation Act. Pursuant to Section 315a of the German Commercial Code, the consolidated financial statements were prepared in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and supplemented by a Group management report pursuant to Section 315 of the German Commercial Code. The auditor appointed by the Shareholders Meeting on May 26, 2009 has reviewed these documents. The auditor issued an unqualified audit opinion on the annual financial statements and management report of Loewe AG and the consolidated financial statements and Group management report. In its meeting of March 11, 2010, the audit committee of the Supervisory Board analyzed and reviewed the accounting documents of Loewe AG and the Loewe Group as of December 31, The order of events, essential findings and the results of the audit were also discussed with the auditor. The audit committee approved the accounting documents presented based on the conclusive results of its own review. In addition to questions concerning the audit, the audit committee also reviewed matters relating to the internal control system and internal auditing. The financial statements and management report of Loewe AG for the year ended December 31, 2009, the consolidated financial statements and Group management report for the year ended December 31, 2009 as well as the reports of the auditor were presented to all members of the Supervisory Board in due time. During the financial statements meeting of March 18, 2010, the financial statements were discussed in detail following a report by the Executive Board and the auditor. The auditor reported the most important results of the audit and that the internal control and risk management system has no significant weaknesses. The audit committee chairman also presented information on the committee s activities and the results of its review. The Supervisory Board reviewed and approved the financial statements of Loewe AG for the year ended December 31, 2009 and the associated management report as Loewe AG

35 well as the proposed appropriation of profits. The financial statements of Loewe AG for the year ended December 31, 2009 prepared by the Executive Board have thus been adopted. Furthermore, the Supervisory Board adopted the recommendation for the agenda of the Annual Shareholders Meeting to be held in Munich on May 20, In connection with the proposal for the appointment of the auditor for fiscal 2010, the Supervisory Board relied on the recommendation of the audit committee. The Supervisory Board agrees with the Executive Board s proposal to distribute a dividend in the amount of EUR 0.25 per bearer share from the unappropriated retained earnings of EUR 6,252, Pursuant to sections 289 (4) and 315 (4) of the German Commercial Code, Loewe must make disclosures concerning its rules on public offerings, the purchase of securities and company takeovers. In the year under review, the Supervisory Board saw no reason to address questions of a takeover of Loewe or to disclose any specific information under the Takeover Bids Directive Implementation Act (ÜbernRUmsG). The Supervisory Board wishes to thank the Executive Board, the employees and the employee representatives of Loewe for their great dedication in a challenging fiscal year The Supervisory Board is convinced that Loewe s very solid capital structure and its clear premium strategy in an improved economic environment will bring the Company much closer to achieving its goal of becoming the most significant international premium brand for home entertainment systems in the current fiscal year. Kronach, March 18, 2010 Dr. Rainer Hecker Chairman of the Supervisory Board Our Responsibility

36 Corporate Governance Conscientious and transparent management Loewe is an independent company with a clear brand strategy. Even in 2009, which was a challenging financial year because of the financial and economic crisis, our attractive and individual home entertainment solutions enabled us to further consolidate our current brand position in Europe. Loewe is now considered one of the leading made in Germany premium brands in consumer electronics. We attract our customers with products whose aesthetic appeal is timeless, with exclusive individuality, sensible technology and easy operation. In doing so, Loewe consistently follows the most exacting standards. The corporate bodies of Loewe AG pursue the same high standards and sense an obligation to conscientious, transparent and sustained creation of value in managing the company. Value-based management as an ongoing process Loewe understands value-based management to be an ongoing process. Our objective is to balance the interests of employees, shareholders, customers and the public. Only on this basis is sustained and long-term growth of the Company s value possible. All strategic decisions have been based on this concept for many years. With this in mind, we have been publishing the principles of cooperation based on trust between the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board since our 2001 annual report. Good corporate governance is of prominent importance for Loewe AG. For that reason, we support the German Corporate Governance Code issued by the Government Commission and most recently updated on June 18, 2009, and as in the previous year, we will implement all recommendations with only one exception. The current declaration of conformity and all previous versions are available for download on Loewe s website. Declaration of Conformity Loewe continues to fully conform to the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code with one exception Our principles continue to conform to the recommendations of the Code with one exception. On November 27, 2009, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board issued their declaration of conformity pursuant to Section 161 of the German Stock Corporation Act. The following declaration of conformity was made permanently available to the shareholders at the proper time on the Company s web pages at under Investor Relations: The Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Loewe AG hereby issue the following declaration of conformity in accordance with Section 161 of the German Stock Corporation Act regarding the recommendations of the Government Commission of the German Corporate Governance Code: 1. Loewe AG will continue to comply with the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code as amended on June 18, 2009, published in the electronic Federal Gazette on August 5, 2009, with the following exception: In concluding or renewing Executive Board contracts with members of the Executive Board currently in office, no severance payment cap will be agreed for the protection of established rights and for the prevention of unequal treatment of members of the Executive Board (sub-section (4) sentence 1 of the Code). 2. Loewe AG has complied with the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code as amended on June 6, 2008, published in the electronic Federal Gazette on August 8, 2008 since its last declaration of conformity of November 28, 2008 except for the recommendation set forth in sub-section (4) sentence 1 (severance payment cap in concluding Executive Board contracts) Loewe AG

37 Remuneration of the Executive Board of Loewe AG Loewe AG complies with the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code to disclose the remuneration for the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board individualized and broken down into fixed and variable components. The members of the Executive Board of Loewe AG are simultaneously managing directors of Loewe Opta GmbH. The remuneration of the Company s Executive Board for fiscal year 2009 totaled EUR 1,971,360 (2008: EUR 2,694,626). No separate remuneration was paid for the GmbH activity. The amount of the incentive compensation for the Executive Board is based on the targets defined by the personnel committee of the Supervisory Board for the fiscal year in question. In addition to strategic goals, these targets primarily include economic figures of the Loewe Group. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board provided a detailed presentation of the remuneration policy principles and structure in the 2009 Shareholders Meeting and such a presentation is also planned for the next Shareholders Meeting on May 20, See page 135 of the Notes for comprehensive information on the individual remuneration of the Executive Board. Remuneration of the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board is published individually An age limit of 65 years generally applies to the three members of the Executive Board. Directors & officers insurance exists. A deductible has been stipulated to be a component of the fixed annual remuneration of each member of the Executive Board. Remuneration of the Supervisory Board of Loewe AG In conformity with sub-section of the German Corporate Governance Code, Loewe reports the compensation of the Supervisory Board individually and subdivided according to components. The remuneration of the Supervisory Board is governed by the relevant provisions of the Articles of Incorporation, the currently valid version dated June 5, 2009 which was adopted by shareholders in the 2009 Shareholders Meeting. The annual fixed remuneration for each member of the Supervisory Board is EUR 15,000; the variable remuneration is performance-related and depends on net income. Each member of the Supervisory Board receives an additional EUR 15,000 if Group earnings per share reach EUR If earnings are lower or higher, the variable component is reduced or increased proportionally. This fixed and variable remuneration is doubled for the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and the Deputy Chairman receives one and one-half times that amount. The total remuneration of the Supervisory Board for fiscal 2009 came to EUR 154,482 (2008: EUR 200,667). See page 134 of the Notes for detailed information on the individual remuneration of the Supervisory Board. The members of the Supervisory Board performed no consulting and mediation services or other services during the year under review. For that reason, no remuneration was granted in excess of the aforementioned components. Directors & officers insurance also exists for the Supervisory Board. An appropriate deductible geared to the Supervisory Board incentive compensation has been stipulated. Avoidance of conflicts of interest Both the members of the Executive Board and the members of the Supervisory Board are bound by the best interests of the enterprise Loewe and may not pursue personal interests in their decisions. Members may not, in connection with their work, demand or accept from third parties payments or other advantages for themselves or for any other person or grant third parties unlawful advantages. The members of the Executive Board shall disclose such transactions or sideline activities to the Supervisory Board without delay and they require the approval of the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board shall inform the Annual Shareholders Meeting of any conflicts of interest which have occurred together with their treatment. No such conflicts of interests have occurred with members of the Executive Board or the Supervisory Board in the period under review. Our Responsibility

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