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SK Inc. Announces Initiatives To Enhance Shareholder Returns And Engagement

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 30 March 2022

SK Inc. CEO Dong Hyun Jang is giving an opening speech during the 31st annual general meeting of shareholders on March 29

PHOTO: PRNewswire

  • All agenda items approved including approval of financial statement for 2021, appointment of directors and an auditor
  • CEO and key executives presented the business results for shareholders present in-person and via livestreaming
  • SK Inc. plans to distribute over 30% of its recurring dividend income and buy back its own shares, equivalent to more than 1% of market cap, every year through 2025

SK Inc., the strategic investment arm of South Korea’s SK Group, held the 31st annual general meeting of shareholders at SUPEX Hall of SK Seorin Building at 10 am on March 29.

At the general meeting, shareholders approved all four items on the agenda as submitted, the approval of the financial statements for 2021, the re-election of directors (Chairman and CEO of SK Inc. Tae-won Chey as executive director, Jaeho Yeom and Byoung-ho Kim as outside directors) and an auditor, and the remuneration limit for directors.

For 2021, SK Inc. reported consolidated revenue of KRW 98.33 trillion, operating profit of KRW 4.94 trillion and net profit of KRW 5.72 trillion.

This year’s annual meeting demonstrated SK Inc.’s efforts to enhance shareholder engagement. The top-level management, from CEO to investment and financial directors took the stage to present business results and growth strategies for shareholders, while live-streaming the meeting for those who could not make it in person. Following the presentation, a live Q&A session was held for shareholders present physically and virtually.

“SK Inc. will realign its asset portfolio and investment strategies in 2022, while bolstering its investment expertise and upgrading its management system including shareholders’ return policy,” said SK Inc. CEO Dong Hyun Jang, in his opening remarks. He emphasized “Despite challenging market conditions, SK Inc. continues to elevate itself as a frontier, which sets itself apart by aggressively delivering a profit to shareholders and making assets more efficient.”

Notably, SK Inc. highlighted its commitment to further enhancing its shareholder return and creating stronger values for shareholders.

“In addition to the existing shareholder return policy of distributing over 30% of recurring dividend income, SK Inc. plans to use gains from the investment portfolio to repurchase its own shares, equivalent to more than 1% of market cap, every year through 2025,” said Sung-Hyung Lee, CFO of SK Inc. “Share buyback and cancellation are among possible options from a shareholder return perspective.”

Senior executives of respective functions also presented their investment results and strategies.

“We have been proactively investing in areas with strong growth prospects such as semiconductor materials, battery materials and electric vehicle supply chain management (SCM),” said Yang-taek Kim, executive vice president of SK Inc.’s Advanced Materials Investment Center. “This year, we will focus on increasing the visibility of the next-generation EV battery materials business with the completion of an anode materials plant via a joint venture with Group14 Technologies and the establishment of a single crystalline cathode materials joint venture with Beijing Easpring, enhancing the fundamental competitiveness of the existing businesses and securing sustainable growth momentum.”

“In 2021, SK pharmteco, a US-based contract development & manufacturing organization (CDMO) posted a 19% year-on-year increase in consolidated revenue,” said Donghoon Lee, executive vice president of Bio Investment Center at SK Inc. “SK pharmteco has successfully expanded into the cell and gene therapy(CGT) CMO market, through the acquisition of Yposkesi, a French CGT CDMO, and equity investments in the Philadelphia-based Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM).” He added “For 2022, the CDMO business is looking to achieve steady growth in the small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) segment, level up the value of the CGT segment. In the pharmaceutical sector, we plan to advance to the fast-growing biomedicine market to replicate the success of SK Biopharmaceuticals.”

“With a focus on decarbonization, we have invested in promising overseas assets and developed solid footing in four main areas, new energy, sustainable food, environmental technologies, and carbon management,” said Moohwan Kim, executive vice president of SK Inc.’s Green Investment Center. “Based on these assets, the firm will accelerate its business in Korea and Asia in 2022, while continuing to globally build a foundation for its core businesses.”

Meanwhile, SK Inc. has been leading shareholder-friendly management as the first among major Korean holding companies to schedule shareholders’ meetings on non-overlapping dates, introduce an e-voting system and announce the corporate governance charter. SK Inc. revised its Corporate Governance Charter in December 2021, stating its commitment to better engaging shareholders and other stakeholders. Against this backdrop, SK Inc. has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices World Index (DJSI World) for the 10th consecutive year and received a rating of AA in the MSCI environmental, social and governance (ESG) Ratings assessment. 

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