Natura maintains a direct, transparent, and constant relationship with its shareholders, investors, and capital markets analysts. We provide information on our activities and results in accordance with the best practices and the rules of the Brazilian Securities Commission, which regulates the disclosure of listed companies in Brazil, and the BM&Fbovespa, where our shares are listed on the New Market segment. We also seek to provide information on the value we add through sustainability, whether via teleconferences or events promoted by banks and brokerages in Brazil and abroad.
To better evaluate how the capital markets perceive us, we conducted a Perception Study for the second consecutive year. Extensive interviews with investors in Brazil, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Singapore, showed the opinions of professionals who know Natura very well. The brand is seen as a strength, whereas constant changes in the internationalization strategy appears as a weakness. The study ended in an average score in 2008 of 4.1 points in a range of 1 to 5, higher than the 3.8 points in 2007.
Regular comments on the development of the company, disclosed by the Investor Relations area, are approved by the Audit Committee, the Brazilian Executive Committee (Comex), and the Board of Directors, ensuring communications that accurately reflect the value of the company.
Reversing the trend seen in recent years, the number of Natura’s investors dropped significantly in 2008. The reason was mainly the global economic downturn, which led many investors, particularly individuals, to liquidate or reduce their positions in stock exchanges all over the world. The drop of the investment in Natura was 47.5%: from 20,798 in 2007 to 10,927 in 2008 - 91.5% individuals and 8.5% legal entities.
We recorded a growth in the investments of corporate investors headquartered abroad, which represented approximately 36% in 2007 and grew to 58% in 2008.
With respect to the number of outstanding shares, foreign corporate investors hold 82% of the shares and Brazilian corporate investors 8%.
In December 2008, the percentage of Natura’s outstanding shares in relation to total capital stock was 25.53%, which is in compliance with the minimum requirement of 25% by the New Market, the highest level of corporate governance on the São Paulo Stock Exchange where our shares are listed.
The performance of Natura’s shares in 2008 was very peculiar. The effect of the global economic downturn, which caused share prices on the Brazilian capital markets to drop from September, was not reflected with the same intensity on the prices of our shares. In fact, whereas the main index of the São Paulo Stock Exchange (Ibovespa) dropped 41%, Natura’s shares appreciated 18%. The main drivers of this performance were the company’s low level of indebtedness, high cash generation, high profitability, and an active, sensible, and secure treasury department. Additionally, our action plan, aimed at increasing sales in Brazil, started to show its first results, increasing confidence of the company’s investors
Natura’s shares (Natu3), traded on the BM&Fbovespa, have appreciated in total 213% since their IPO, whereas the Ibovespa appreciated 99% in the same period.
Performance of Shares
We remained on the leading Brazilian share market indexes – Ibovespa, IbrX-50, IbrX-100 (which list the most liquid shares on the stock exchange), the Tag Along Share Index (Itag), the Corporate Governance Index (IGC) and the Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE), which uses sustainability criteria to select shares of listed companies and on which Natura has been included since its inception in 2005. Natura is also part of the Morgan Stanley Composite Index (MSCI), which is a reference for foreign investors.
In 2008, we participated in many conferences abroad, in addition to road shows in the United States, Europe, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In these events, we had contact with approximately 1,500 investors: individuals, analysts, and fund managers. Another form of direct communication between Natura and investors is our Investor Relations website, which makes available the “Talk to the IR” service. Information on the events in which we participate, comments on our performances, data on corporate structure, and the history of our dividends may be found on the website.
Payment of Dividends
On February 18, 2009, the Board of Directors approved a proposal to be submitted for the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on March 23, 2009 for the payment of dividends and interest on capital with respect to the results accrued in 2008 in the amount of R$ 442.2 million and R$ 57.5 million (R$ 48.8 million, net of withholding income tax), respectively.
Of this amount, dividends related to the results for the first half of 2008 amounting to R$ 188.0 million were paid on August 10, 2008. The remaining balance, to be paid on April 8, 2009 after being ratified by the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, will be R$ 254.2 million in the form of dividends and R$ 48.8 million in the form of interest on capital (net of withholding income tax).
The aggregate of these dividends and interest on capital related to the results for 2008 will represent net earnings of R$ 1.15 per share (R$ 0.95 per share in 2007), corresponding to 98.0% of the generation of free cash4 and 90.6% of net income5 for 2008.
To learn more about our participation in the capital markets, please access www.natura.net/investidor