Sustainability is at the heart of every facet of Deutsche Telekom’s business activities. CEO Tim Höttges made this clear at the Group’s shareholders’ meeting in Bonn.
“We act with a long-term focus. We act soundly. We act responsibly,” he said. “Sustainability means: Never sticking with yesterday, instead always working for tomorrow.” Höttges also announced an important success for Deutsche Telekom: “We have achieved the majority in T-Mobile US.” Following the business combination with Sprint three years ago, the stake in T-Mobile US stood at 43 percent. Today, it stands at around 50.2 percent. Achieving a majority has been a stated goal of Deutsche Telekom since the 2021 Capital Markets Day.
Höttges referred to successes in the area of environmental and climate protection. “We have already achieved a great deal with this approach. We emit 94 percent fewer CO2 emissions than in 2017. We aim to be fully climate neutral by 2025. Last year, we reduced our energy consumption in Germany by 278 gigawatt hours – that is 11 percent,” he said. “We want to achieve net zero emissions from the production of cell phones. Anyone who fails to achieve green production will eventually be removed from the line-up. We import devices. But we export our environmental protection standards.” By 2040, Deutsche Telekom’s entire value chain is to be climate neutral. From the manufacture of devices to the power consumption of our customers.
Telekom and Sustainability
“2040 is a long way off. So, we now have a new interim goal. A 55 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2020,” said Höttges.
Sustainability also means solid finances. The Group’s revenue increased by 6.1 percent in the last financial year to 114.4 billion euros. The performance indicator adjusted EBITDA AL rose by 7.7 percent to 40.2 billion euros. Höttges declared that Deutsche Telekom has now passed its peak level of debt thanks to the strong free cash flow.
At the same time, the Group managed to continue investing at a record level. This is also confirmed by the stock market: “Taking the dividend and share price together, the return for 2022 is 18.6 percent. For comparison: The DAX was down 12.4 percent in the same period,” he said.
The best network is also a byword for sustainable corporate governance. Deutsche Telekom builds around 80 percent of all new cell sites in Germany, 4,800 since 2019. The 5G standard already covers 95 percent of the population. In the United States, T Mobile has by far the best mobile network.
“We provide 310 million people there with 5G. More than the former top dogs AT&T and Verizon.” Germany’s fiber-optic rollout is gaining momentum. “We are building as fast as the diggers can dig for up to three million households this year – 25 to 30 million households by 2030. In urban and rural areas.”
Deutsche Telekom wants to be a reliable partner for customers. Deutsche Telekom supports business customers in digitalizing their processes. “It is not sustainable for Germany to live off its reserves. The ‘Made in Germany’ quality seal is showing cracks. We need to work together to revamp it. Digitalization is based on networks.” Höttges called for faster approval processes for digital infrastructure, such as for the building of mobile antennas, and the laying of fiber-optic cable.
For the past financial year, 2022, a dividend of 70 eurocents per share is proposed to the shareholders’ meeting. In the prior year, a dividend of 64 eurocents per share had been paid out. Frank Appel chaired his first shareholders’ meeting for Deutsche Telekom as Chairman of the Supervisory Board.