The Essity share
Essity shares are quoted and traded on Nasdaq Stockholm. Essity’s market capitalization was SEK 186bn at December 31, 2020.
Share price performance in 2020
In 2020, the price of Essity’s B share declined 12%. During the same period, the OMX Stockholm 30 Index rose 6% and the MSCI Household Products Index rose 11%. The closing price of Essity’s B share at year-end was SEK 264.50. The highest closing price for Essity’s B share during the year was SEK 321.60, which was noted on January 18 and 20. The lowest closing price was SEK 257.90 on October 30.
The total shareholder return for Essity’s B share for the year was –10%. The total shareholder return for the OMX Stockholm 30 Index was +7% and for the MSCI Household Products Index +14%.
Dividend and dividend policy
Essity aims to provide long-term stable and rising dividends to its shareholders. When cash flow from current operations exceeds what the company can invest in profitable expansion over the long term, and under the condition that the capital structure target is met, the surplus shall be distributed to the shareholders.
The original dividend proposal for the 2019 fiscal year was withdrawn in spring 2020 as a consequence of the major uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. On October 28, 2020, Essity resolved on a dividend of SEK 6.25 per share at an Extraordinary General Meeting. The dividend was paid on November 4, 2020.
The Board of Directors proposes an increase in the dividend of 8% to SEK 6.75 (6.25) per share for the 2020 fiscal year. The dividend represents a dividend yield of 2.6%, based on Essity’s share price at the end of the year.
On the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange, Essity is included in the OMX Stockholm 30 Index, OMX Nordic 40 Index and in the Personal & Household Goods sector within Consumer Goods. In addition to indexes directly linked to Nasdaq Stockholm, Essity is included in other indexes, such as the FTSE All World Index and the MSCI Household Products Index within Consumer Staples. Essity is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index, one of the world’s most prestigious sustainability indices, in the Household Products category. Essity is also represented in sustainability indexes such as the FTSE4Good and has the highest MSCI ESG rating of AAA.
48% of the share capital is owned by investors registered in Sweden and 52% by foreign investors. The US and the UK account for the highest percentage of shareholders registered outside Sweden.
The beta coefficient for Essity’s B share was 0.46 in 2020. A beta coefficient of less than 1 indicates that the share is less sensitive to market fluctuations than the average.
In 2020, the volume of Essity shares traded on Nasdaq Stockholm was about 463 million, corresponding to a value of approximately SEK 136bn. Average daily trading for Essity on Nasdaq Stockholm amounted to approximately 1.8 million shares, corresponding to a value of approximately SEK 538m. During the year, trading on CBOE had turnover of approximately 572 million Essity shares, Turquoise approximately 32 million and other trading venues approximately 156 million.