Roche's Annual General Meeting 2004

Tuesday, 06. April 2004 13:15

Basel, 6 April 2004 - The Annual General Meeting of Roche Holding Ltd
was attended by 592 shareholders representing 147,822,220 or 92,39
percent, of a total of 160,000,000 shares. The Meeting approved the
2003 annual report and financial statements and authorised payment of
an annual dividend for 2003 of 1.65 Swiss francs per share and
non-voting equity security, an increase of 14 percent over the
previous year. This is Roche's seventeenth consecutive dividend

In his address to shareholders, Chairman and CEO Franz B. Humer
summed up the year as follows: "We achieved our ambitious goals in
2003. Our core pharmaceuticals and diagnostics businesses grew faster
than their respective markets, increasing their sales at a
double-digit rate of 19 percent in local currencies to 29.0 billion
Swiss francs. Operating profit before exceptional items once again
outpaced sales growth, with a 25% rise in local currencies to 6.1
billion Swiss francs. Moreover, we have continued to strengthen
Roche's financial position and have further enhanced corporate

Humer went on to say that Roche's good performance in 2003 confirmed
that its clearly defined strategy of focusing on the highly
innovative pharmaceuticals and diagnostics businesses as an
independent company was on track. "Furthermore, we firmly believe
that long-term business success is possible only through a policy of
economic, social and environmental sustainability. Our new
Sustainability Report underlines our commitment in this area."

As had already been announced, the 2004 Annual General Meeting was
marked by a number of changes to the membership of the Board of
Directors. Fritz Gerber, Andres F. Leuenberger and Henri B. Meier all
stepped down as of today's Meeting. Humer thanked all three gentlemen
on the shareholders' behalf for their significant contributions to
Roche's success over the past decades. As Chairman of the Board from
1978 and CEO for many years, Gerber played a key role in shaping the
direction and remarkable success of the company. He remains Honorary
Chairman of Roche.

The shareholders elected Bruno Gehrig and Lodewijk J.R. de Vink as
new Board members. Before taking up his current position as Chairman
of the Board of Directors of Swiss Life Holding, Bruno Gehrig was
Vice-Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank,
which he joined in 1996. From 1992 to 1996 he was Professor of
Business Economics at the University of St Gallen. Gehrig will assume
the newly created function of Independent Lead Director. Lodewijk J.
R. de Vink is a founding member and consultant of Blackstone
Healthcare Partners. As a former President of Schering International
and Chairman, President and CEO of Warner-Lambert, de Vink has many
years of experience in the pharmaceuticals industry.

Board members Walter Frey and Andreas Oeri, whose four-year terms of
office ended today, were re-elected. Finally, the shareholders
elected KPMG as the new Group Auditors and Statutory Auditors of
Roche Holding Ltd.

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's
leading innovation-driven healthcare groups. Its core businesses are
pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is number one in the global
diagnostics market, the leading supplier of pharmaceuticals for
cancer and a leader in virology and transplantation. As a supplier of
products and services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of
disease, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to
improving people's health and quality of life. Roche employs roughly
65,000 people in 150 countries. The Group has alliances and R&D
agreements with numerous partners, including majority ownership
interests in Genentech and Chugai.

The Investor Update can be downloaded from the following link:
View document
Roche IR Contacts:
Dr. Karl Mahler
Phone: +41 (0)61 687 85 03

Eva-Maria Schäfer
Phone: +41 (0)61 688 66 36

Dianne Young
Phone: +41 (0)61 688 93 56

North American investors please contact:
Richard Simpson
Phone: +1 973 235 3655
Related Links: 
Copyright GlobeNewswire, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.
You can register yourself on the website to receive press releases directly via e-mail to your own e-mail account.