Message from the Chairman of the Board of Directors
In 2019, the Company maintained its focus on shareholder return growth, paying out record-high dividends while also reducing leverage.
Amid volatility in international financial markets and elevated uncertainty in global affairs, the Board of Directors and the Company’s management are committed to ensuring Rosneft’s ongoing value appreciation in the long term and to helping the shareholders thrive and prosper.
On 19 December 2019, the Board of Directors approved Rosneft’s financial and business targets for 2020–2021. The key objectives are to develop production and diversify markets while ensuring a balanced financial structure and an unwavering focus on social responsibility.
We have plans to launch major oil and gas exploration and production projects, upgrade oil refining capacities, and move forward with digitalisation and innovations. Operating efficiency improvements and expansion of our sales geography remain our priorities.
Responsibility is a pillar of sustainable development, so the Company takes active part in global discussions on reducing greenhouse emissions and liaises with government bodies and industry peers. In 2019, we developed corporate approaches to carbon management, making sure they were aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Rosneft also joined the Guiding Principles on Reducing Methane Emissions across the Natural Gas Value Chain – an initiative of international oil and gas majors. Social responsibility is an ongoing area of focus for the Board of Directors.
We aim to continue providing social guarantees for our personnel, improving our health, safety and environment performance, and fostering relations with local communities across our geographies.
Last year, the Board of Directors engaged Ernst & Young as an independent advisor to look into the Company’s management practices. The professionalism of Rosneft’s Board of Directors won strong recognition from the external advisor, but our team still sees areas for improvement. In particular, we intend to hold more in-person meetings of the Board Committees and enhance our succession policy.
Doing well by our shareholders and growing the Company in a sustainable manner remain the long-term priorities for the Board of Directors and the management. To this end, we are targeting a rise in shareholder return vs 2019 as one of our goals in financial and business performance for 2020–2021.
I have every confidence that with diligent planning, ongoing review of internal efficiency, and a focus on business, counterparties, employees and partners, the Company is perfectly positioned to continue delivering on the Rosneft–2022 Strategy.