SK hynix holds General Shareholders Meeting Online and Offline Simultaneously to Share ‘Financial Story’ and Willingness to Increase Shareholder Value

By March 29, 2021 July 8th, 2021 No Comments
SK hynix held its 73rd General Shareholders Meeting on March 30th at the SUPEX Hall of the SUPEX Center at Icheon Campus, South Korea.

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SK hynix held its 73rd General Shareholders Meeting on March 30th at the SUPEX Hall of the SUPEX Center at Icheon Campus, South Korea.

The meeting was held simultaneously both online and offline this year for the first time as an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Shareholders who signed up for participation in advance were able to join the meeting by watching a video webcast in real-time.

At the meeting, SK hynix introduced its Financial Story during a separate session, in addition to general procedures such as approval of financial statements, appointment of executive directors and non-executive directors, and approval of directors’ remuneration limits. Through this session, shareholders were able to hear detailed explanations from the SK hynix CEO Seok-hee Lee about the company’s willingness to increase the shareholder value, as well as the future plan pursued by the company.

Meanwhile, the shareholders of SK hynix decided on all the agendas at the meeting.

Financial Results Improved under Challenging Conditions in 2020

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CEO Lee, as the chairman of the meeting, said in the business report, “Amid difficult conditions including COVID-19 and the rapidly changing global business environment, SK hynix achieved KRW 32 trillion in sales and KRW 5 trillion in operating profit in 2020, which is highly improved compared to the previous year, through rapid development of leading technology and flexible response to demand.”

Also, CEO Lee cited some notable accomplishments last year, including growth in server DRAM, improvement in portfolios of NAND Flash products and customers, and establishment of foundation for mid- to long-term growth. He explained that with excellent quality competitiveness, the sales of 1Ynm-based high-capacity DRAM modules increased. In case of NAND Flash, cost competitiveness was enhanced through rapid mass-production of 128-layer products, and solid state drive (SSD) sales targeting data centers increased compared to the previous year. For mid- to long-term growth, he explained that SK hynix signed a contract to acquire the NAND and SSD business from Intel, established foundation for mass-production using EUV at the M16 fab, joined the RE100 initiative, and continued preparation of the Yongin Semiconductor Cluster project.

CEO Lee concluded the report by highlighting the targets for this year to ensure that these achievements pave way for SK hynix’s sustainable growth. The targets include maximizing the market position for high value-added strategic products based on quality competitiveness, improving production efficiency by building smart fab environment, innovating cost structure through increasing efficiency of investment and asset, successfully implementing the first stage of the Intel NAND and SSD business acquisition contract, and enhancing fundamental capabilities to create synergy.

CEO Lee Shares Financial Story with Shareholders as “The Exciting Vision of the Future”

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“SK hynix will evolve into a ‘Great Company’ that contributes to humanity and society with technology.”

At today’s General Shareholders Meeting, CEO Lee presented the “Financial Story” along with the company’s future vision.

CEO Lee said, “The goal of ‘boosting the corporate value to KRW 100 trillion’ that I presented when I was appointed as CEO two years ago was achieved earlier this year, earlier than expected. Now, we want to aim higher. Based on the Financial Story, we will promote the company’s growth with two main pillars of DRAM and NAND Flash, and accelerate the growth of shareholder value.”

Major affiliates of SK Group are communicating with their stakeholders to incorporate SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-Won’s “Financial Story” into the companies’ future growth direction. SK hynix reflected in this story its direction of enhancing the corporate value by focusing on ESG management, while strengthening the competitiveness in the DRAM and NAND Flash businesses. CEO Lee said, “We will focus on creating social values on top of economic values.”

CEO Lee announced that the company will focus on improving the profitability of the NAND business, in terms of economic values. SK hynix invested in KIOXIA Holdings Corporation (formerly Toshiba Memory) in 2018 and signed a contract to acquire the NAND and SSD business of Intel in October 2020. Regarding this contract, CEO Lee said, “As SK hynix has strength in mobile NAND Flash and Intel in enterprise SSD (eSSD), potential synergy is expected from this acquisition. The completion of the acquisition process will allow us to leap forward to becoming one of the global leaders in the NAND business, as well as DRAM business.”

In addition, CEO Lee presented SSD as an example of business that can create both economic and social values. CEO Lee said, “If hard disk drives (HDDs), one of the representative storage devices, are entirely replaced with low-power SSDs, carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by 93%. As well as economic values created through the technological prowess of SSDs, social values can be created by contributing to solving environmental problems.

At the shareholders meeting, CEO Lee also introduced the direction for the future investment. He announced that the company will invest intensively in three areas including R&D, ESG management, and discovery of future growth sources.

CEO Lee said, “SK hynix is envisioning a plan to establish infrastructure for intensive R&D development in various regions including the U.S. and Europe. In terms of strengthening ESG management, we will faithfully prepare for RE100 initiative, a goal to procure 100% of the power consumed with renewable energy, and the ‘Carbon Net Zero’ declaration. Also, the company will discover and invest in promising companies in the innovative fields like AI, autonomous driving, and 5G.”

Finally, CEO Lee stressed that SK hynix will prepare new growth sources thoroughly while pursuing ESG, and urged the shareholder to join “the journey of SK hynix growing into a ‘Great Company’”.

Shareholders Welcome Online Meeting As CEO Gives Answers Directly

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SK hynix also listened to shareholders’ opinions proactively, by receiving questions in advance from those who attended the meeting remotely.

Many of the questions that arrived in advance included inquiries about the company’s dividend policy. Regarding this, CEO Lee said, “The ‘2019-2021 Dividend Policy’ informed through the public notice in January 2020 specifies that, in each fiscal year, the company will provide cash dividend that includes 5% of the free cash flow (the calculation standard is established by excluding the acquisition amount of tangible assets from the operating cash flows in the consolidated cash flow statement) created during the year, in addition to the fixed dividend of KRW 1,000 per share. Until the dividend at the end of the term of 2021, the company plans to calculate the dividend in accordance with that policy. For the dividend policy after that, we will transparently communicate with shareholders, by comprehensively considering and reviewing the industry conditions, earnings volatility, and the possibility of shareholders’ dividend predictions.”

There were also many questions on the likely positive effects of the planned completion of the deal to acquire Intel’s NAND and SSD business. CEO Lee answered the questions in accordance with his explanation of the Financial Story.

One of the shareholders who attended the online meeting said, “I was very hesitant to go to the meeting due to COVID-19, but was able to attend it online for the first time. I appreciate that the CEO answered my questions directly, and the fact that even a minority shareholder like myself could exercise shareholder rights easily via electronic voting.”