Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the general meeting of Lenzerheide Bergbahnen AG (LBB AG) took place in a closed setting without the physical participation of the shareholders. Felix Frei was elected as the new Chairman of the Board with a very large majority. The previous, free board members were also re-elected with the great support of the shareholders. At his last General Meeting, Christoph Suenderhauf looks back with satisfaction and pride on his twelve-year term of office.
Instead of the large triple gym in Lenzerheide, Christoph Suenderhauf opened his last general meeting for Lenzerheide Bergbahnen AG (LBB AG) in the large plenary hall in the Valbella Resort. 25 people were present instead of around 400 shareholders. And instead of around three hours, the meeting lasted just under an hour. There were no long speeches and large presentations, but the simple processing of the agenda for an ordinary general meeting.
Solid business results despite COVID-19
Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, LBB AG decided to hold today's General Meeting without the physical participation of the shareholders. In addition to the board of directors and management, only the board members of the municipality and community of Vaz / Obervaz were present as the main shareholders. “This enabled us to pay homage to our long-standing VR President at least in a somewhat solemn setting and bid him farewell,” emphasizes Peter Engler, CEO of LBB AG.
The 2019/20 business result is solid with a profit of CHF 244'744 despite the shortened winter season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to last year's record turnover, traffic revenue fell by 4.5% to CHF 26.27 million, and the snow sports area recorded first-time entries (ski days) Arosa Lenzerheide saw a decrease of 13.2% in winter 2019/20. EBITDA fell by 4.4% to CHF 10.04 million, which corresponds to an EBITDA margin of 33.12%.
New chairman and an almost unchanged board of directors
The election of the Board of Directors was at the center of this year's general meeting of LBB AG. Thanks to the joint nomination of the three main shareholders, the municipality of Vaz / Obervaz (34.75%), Priora Suisse AG (25.76%) and the Bürgergemeinde Vaz / Obervaz (12.76%), the choice of Felix Frei as Chairman of the Board of Directors was clear in advance. The independent proxy only had to report a few opposing votes or abstentions. This makes the new man at the strategic head of Lenzerheide Bergbahnen AG positive: "I am very happy that I will be able to help shape the development of LBB AG as Chairman of the Board of Directors and to contribute my experience".
In addition to the election of the new President, the election of the free BoD members was also on the agenda. The former Aron Moser, Alois Bearth, Marcus Lenz, Ernst Senteler, Thomas Vogt and Christoph Brasser (representative of the Churwalden Alpine Cooperative) were re-elected with a comparable proportion of votes. In addition to these re-elections, there is a personnel change among the delegates. Instead of Hans Orsatti, the Vaz / Obervaz community nominates Claudio Baltermi as a representative on the board of directors. This is completed by the other previous delegates Sascha Ginesta (municipality of Vaz / Obervaz), Rolf Schumacher (municipality of Churwalden) and Stephan Beez (community of Arosa).
Christoph Suenderhauf is satisfied and proud of what has been achieved
At the end of the unusually short General Assembly, CEO Peter Engler paid tribute to Christoph Suenderhauf's great achievements at the official farewell and accompanied them with one or the other anecdote from twelve years on the Board of Directors. Christoph Suenderhauf himself looks back on his time as President of LBB AG with great inner satisfaction and pride, despite a little sadness. A time that was characterized by large investments and new construction projects.
Starting with the construction of the Rothorn 1 gondola lift including the administration building (2010), followed by the construction of the Scharmoin mountain restaurant and the two chairlifts Motta and Urdenfürggli (2013), the opening of the Arosa Lenzerheide ski area (January 2014), the construction of the Obertor chairlift as the east West connection - a "historical pendulum" as Christoph Suenderhauf calls it - as well as the construction of the Churwalden portal including the Heidbüel panorama railway (2015), Christoph Suenderhauf was responsible for what is probably the largest investment plan in the history of Lenzerheide Bergbahnen.
The last major investment under Christoph Suenderhauf was the new construction of the Mottahütte, which was controversial due to the construction costs of around CHF 8.5 million. "The result is a unique building that, together with its gastronomy, radiates far beyond the snow sports area and today has a recognition value that is needed to distinguish itself from comparable ski areas", Christoph Suenderhauf is convinced. Together with the expansion of the snow-making systems, LBB AG invested around CHF 140 million in the Arosa Lenzerheide snow sports area between 2010 and 2017. “A gigantic sum that is more than justified with regard to the future,” emphasizes Christoph Suenderhauf.
“As Chairman of the Board of Directors, I had the privilege of helping to shape this process of change and the promotion to the top league of ski areas for twelve years,” says Christoph Suenderhauf, visibly proud. “But without the support of my colleagues on the Board of Directors and the highly motivated and extremely capable employees who enthusiastically supported and implemented this development, this would of course not have been possible,” added the outgoing Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Felix Frei relies on further development and quality
"After years of major investments and new store openings, a phase of consolidation and debt reduction is now the order of the day." But no reason to sit back and relax for the new Board President Felix Frei. «We must never stop getting better - every single day. In the current situation in particular, the focus on permanent development and quality is extremely important, ”emphasizes Felix Frei. «So that we can also seize strategic opportunities and developments in the future, we have to get in shape now. Sustainability and customer benefit are particularly important to me. " And as the former tourism director of the Lenzerheide holiday region (2005 to 2007), Felix Frei also keeps an eye on the well-being of the entire destination: "Only together can we develop further."