Most successful decade in history, more growth to come
The past decade has been Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA's most successful, both from an athletic and a financial perspective. CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke confirmed as much at the Company's Annual General Meeting this Monday and announced that more growth was yet to come.
"Our economic appeal has not waned," said Watzke despite the team's current dip in form. "PUMA gave us the biggest vote of confidence as far as the medium term is concerned." The new sponsorship agreement with the equipment supplier received widespread media coverage and was the fruit of tough negotiations which were conducted on the basis of mutual respect. The new deal "will make it possible for us to stay aggressive in the coming years".
Even without the new agreement, sponsorship revenue will break through the EUR 100 million barrier in the current financial year. "The virtual advertising boards will pay off immensely, and we have more arrows in our quiver."
Watzke was met with thunderous applause as he looked back on the past decade, which draws to a close in five weeks' time: "We won two league titles, lifted the cup twice and finished runners-up on four occasions. This is the first decade that we qualified for international competitions year in and year out – eight times in the Champions League and twice in the Europa League. These are the best ten years that Borussia Dortmund has ever had." During this time, Borussia Dortmund reached new economic heights, increasing its revenue from EUR 75 million to EUR 500 million, paying off its debts and generating "EUR 188 million in profit after taxes". Watzke also praised the club's efforts to fight racism and anti-Semitism. "We have gone above and beyond our social responsibility. Borussia Dortmund will always play its part. We're more than what happens on the pitch."
Turning to the team, Watzke stated "that many who had played a vital role in the team's success in the past year had seen serious dips in form. That's something we need to fix. The job for the next few weeks is to make that happen. Everyone knows this team's quality."
Watzke purposely did not backtrack on his statement that "We'll give it our all to become German champions" when he set out the objective at the beginning of the season. This objective will not be revised as long as it remains realistic. "If we can rediscover our old strength, we can achieve a great deal yet." Addressing the stated target he said, "Having achieved the third-best points tally in the club's history and leading the league after 21 match days last season, the club would have been lacking ambition had it set any other objective. But we will continue to be ambitious!" .
Managing director Thomas Treß again highlighted the financial figures that had been published in August following the Annual Press Conference. Adjusted for transfers, the club set a new revenue record in financial year 2018/2019.
The actions of the general partner were ratified almost unanimously (99.69%). Bodo Löttgen stood as the only candidate for the by-election of a member for the Supervisory Board and received the required majority of the votes (76.60%). The Annual General Meeting approved, with 99.93% of the votes, the proposal to once again distribute a dividend of EUR 0.06 per share.
Further information on the voting results can be found here .
The speech of Hans-Joachim Watzke (German Version)
The speech of Thomas Treß (German Version)