We maintain a shareholder-friendly dividend policy and strive to offer an attractive return on investment. We also aim for a steady development in our dividend per share with no decline in the dividend.
As we were building our international presence and our foreign locations still generated little to no profit, this dividend policy tended to lead to high payout ratios. In the future, the dividend per share will initially rise more slowly than earnings per share resulting in a gradual decline in our payout ratio to a range of 30 to 40 percent. This reduction should also help to strengthen our balance sheet.