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MOL postpones the payment of dividends in an extraordinary meeting

Leading regional oil and gas company, MOL Group held an extraordinary general meeting instead of the Annual General Meeting, due to the current pandemic situation. The Board of the Directors approved the crisis management proposal regarding dividends and the company will retain after-tax profits from 2019 fully until the situation normalises, when they might be paid out as dividends upon the decision of shareholders. The Board of Directors also approved the financial report and consolidated financial statements for the year 2019.

MOL announced earlier this month that it revised its financial and operational targets for 2020, as COVID-19 emergency measures imposed by governments in MOL’s countries of operations have resulted in partial or full lockdown, significantly slowing down the economic activity.

Due to the uncertainty of the duration and impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the extreme volatility and unpredictability of the market, MOL Group has decided to focus on business continuity and cash preserve. Therefore, the company withdrew its guidance for 2020 EBITDA and cut back on investment and operation costs.

At today’s extraordinary meeting the Board of Directors decided to retain after-tax profits from 2019 fully until the situation normalises when they might be paid out as dividends if the shareholders decide so.

“Today is a bittersweet day, as 2019 was a financially strong year for us, but recently, in the shadow of COVID-19, circumstances have changed rapidly and dramatically,” said Zsolt Hernádi, Chairman and CEO of MOL Group.

Mr Hernádi underlined that the objective of the announced measures is to minimize the effects of the economic and coronavirus crises affecting the Group. He noted that for now there is no need to revise long-term strategic goals, but it won’t be possible to return to the pre-crisis world and that probably a new European industrial policy will be necessary.

The past year has been was quite eventful for MOL Group. The company has a generated 2,44 billion US dollars Clean CCS EBITDA in 2019, above the yearly guidance and made it to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) during the 2019 indices review process.

Furthermore, the company also achieved important milestones along its 2030 transformation journey. MOL strengthened its E&P business portfolio by acquiring stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) oil field, which was announced earlier this month. According to the MOL CEO, the Azeri oil field is a long-term investment and it will produce for more than 20 years.

MOL reached 50 per cent completion at its flagship polyol project. During a press conference, the management confirmed that the construction of a plant in Tiszaújváros is on track and they foresee no significant delays.

However, the demand for fuel fell by 40 per cent on a group level, and MOL plans to close 28 service stations from May. The company revised its production targets to 115-120,000 barrels per day and intends to optimise spending to make its portfolio profitable at oil prices as low as 25 US dollars per barrel.

At the extraordinary meeting, the Board of Directors approved the re-election of Dr László Parragh, Zsigmond Járai and Dr Martin Roman to the Board of Directors. Besides, Dr Péter Gottfried was elected a member of the Supervisory Board.

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