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  • Largely uneventful set of AGMs, with most resolutions carried
  • CHC remuneration report had 22.47% vote against the resolution
  • Companies spoke about their commitments to ESG and net-zero

This week has seen multiple annual general meetings (AGMs) held. Most were uneventful with resolutions carried with more than 90% of the vote.

The only item that stood out was the Charter Hall Group (ASX: CHC) remuneration report vote, which saw total votes cast against the resolution at 22.47%, close to the 25% which would trigger a ‘first strike’.

One common thread that was evident between most companies was the focus and action on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) and net-zero carbon. It is particularly poignant as the focus comes with the backdrop of COP26 – the climate conference in Glasgow.

Charter Hall Retail REIT (ASX: CQR)

Chairman Roger Davis spoke about the resilience of the CQR portfolio. The company’s focus on convenience retail saw many centres remain open due to the essential role they played during lockdowns.

“With non-discretionary retailers making up the majority of our tenant customers, trading volumes remained relatively high during lockdown periods, whilst trading conditions for impacted tenants recovered quickly following the easing of COVID-19 mandated closures and trading restrictions,” said Mr Davis.

The company has been working towards extending WALE with major tenants. Mr Davis said the company expects to deliver on the objective by increasing the percentage of major tenants’ income from 51.4% of portfolio income in FY20 to 53.5% in FY21 with a major WALE of 11.4 years.

Greg Chubb, CQR CEO, spoke about the company’s strong moving annual total (MAT) growth, noting supermarkets achieved MAT growth of 4.3%. Total comparable MAT growth across the portfolio when including specialty sales was 5.4%, up from 3.9% at June 2020.

Total votes cast
Resolution For Against Result
Re-election of independent director Roger Davis 91.92% 8.08% Carried

Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX)

In his address, Vicinity Centres Chairman Trevor Gerber said “Vicinity more than honoured its obligations imposed by the SME Code of Conduct, having allocated $231 million to struggling retail tenants, 90% of which was via outright rental forgiveness.”

The financial performance of the company across the 12 months to 30 June 2021, comprised “two very different halves”, he said.

“The first half statutory net loss of $394 million primarily reflected the three-month lockdown in Victoria during the first quarter and the pandemic’s impact on valuations, particularly CBD assets. In the second half, we saw COVID-19 restrictions reduced, retailer confidence recovering, and visitation and retail sales improved. At the same time, valuations progressed towards stabilisation,” said Mr Gerber.

Net property income for the year increased by $60 million to $743 million, largely due to additional income collected in FY21 that related to the prior year.

Total votes cast
Resolution For Against Result
Non-binding advisory vote on remuneration report 94.94% 5.06% Carried
Re-elect Clive Appleton as a director 78.74% 21.26% Carried
Re-elect Janette Kendall as a director 99.84% 0.16% Carried
Re-elect Tim Hammon as a director 96.11% 3.89% Carried
Approval of equity grant to CEO and managing director 96.69% 3.31% Carried
General amendments to the company constitution (special resolution) 99.85% 0.15% Carried
Technology amendments to the company constitution (special resolution) 60.60% 39.40% Not carried
General amendments to the trust constitution (special resolution) 99.86% 0.14% Carried
Technology amendments to the trust constitution (special resolution) 60.60% 39.40% Not carried

Servcorp (ASX: SRV)

In his Chairman’s address, The Hon Mark Vaile AO said for the 2022 financial year, provided Covid impacts do not worsen, “Servcorp’s mature net profit before non-cash impairment of assets and tax will be between $33 million and $36 million.

“In line with this guidance and performance, we expect to produce more than $50 million in underlying free cash.”

Total votes cast
Resolution For Against
Adoption of the remuneration report 94.83% 5.17%
Re-election of Director – Anthony McGrath 99.98% 0.02%

REA Group (ASX: REA)

Chairman Hamish McLennan said revenues were up 13% to $928 million, EBITDA up 19% to $565 million, and net profit up 18% to $318 million. Total dividends per share also rose 19% to 131 cents, and earnings per share was up 21% to 247 cents.

Total votes cast
Resolution For Against Result
Adoption of the remuneration report 97.74% 2.26% Carried
Election of Jennifer Lambert as a director 99.20% 0.80% Carried
Re-election of Hamish McLennan as a director 76.35% 23.65% Carried
Grant of additional performance rights to CEO Owen Wilson under LTIP 2023 83.71% 16.29% Carried
Grant of additional performance rights to CEO Owen Wilson under LTIP 2024 84.01% 15.99% Carried
Amendments to the constitution – general 99.72% 0.28% Carried
Amendments to the constitution – technology 84.35% 15.65% Carried
Financial assistance 99.95% 0.05% Carried
Increase in non-executive directors fee pool 99.64% 0.36% Carried

GDI Property Group (ASX: GDI)

The company holds no properties in either Sydney or Melbourne, the two places in Australia that most recently endured extended and hard lockdowns. Chairman Gina Anderson also noted that beginning in FY17, the company began weighting its portfolio and assets in the funds business to Perth.

Ms Anderson also noted that WA’s hard border was a “two-edged sword for Perth and its economy.  On the one hand, Perth has managed to avoid the worst of COVID‐19.  With only a small number of days where Perth was locked down, most of our tenants were able to operate as normal.”

However, unloosening Covid restrictions in Perth could present issues.

Total votes cast
Resolution For Against Result
Remuneration report 97.39% 2.61% Carried
Re-election of Gina Anderson as director 98.85% 1.15% Carried
Re-election of Stephen Burns as director 99.44% 0.56% Carried
Issue of performance rights under the GDI Property Group performance rights plan to Steve Gillard managing director 98.08% 1.92% Carried

Ingenia (ASX: INA)

Chairman Jim Hazel noted the company made a total of $215 million of acquisitions over the financial year, adding 1,800 income producing sites. Revenue was up 21% and EBIT increased 31% on FY20.

While holiday parks were impacted by the lockdowns, Mr Hazel said “… it was pleasing to see momentum build in the business as restrictions eased.”

Managing director and CEO Simon Owen said revenue grew by 21% to $296 million and cash flow was up 105% to $138 million. Underlying profit increased by 31% on the prior year and underlying earnings per security increased by 7% to 23.6 cents per security.

Total votes cast
Resolution For Against Result
Remuneration report 99.38% 0.62% Carried
Re-election of James Hazel 99.51% 0.49% Carried
Election of Sally Evans 99.84% 0.16% Carried
Grant of FY22 fixed remuneration rights short-term inventive plan rights and long-term inventive plan rights to Simon Owen 99.02% 0.98% Carried

Charter Hall Group (ASX: CHC)

Chairman David Clarke praised the long term work of the company, which he noted as the reason behind the company’s performance throughout the pandemic.

“The resilience and success of the Group through this challenging period is not an accident. We have worked hard over many years to diversify the Group across asset classes, by equity sources and by tenant and investor customers,” said Mr Clarke.

“Concluding on the matter of remuneration, I would ask those who see our proposed remuneration levels as too high to look at the returns they and their clients have received over a long period of time and appreciate that these come from a rare combination of experience, insight and talent,” he said.

Total votes cast
Resolution For Against Result
Election of Director Jacqueline Chow 99.73% 0.27% Carried
Adoption of remuneration report 77.53% 22.47% Carried
Issue of service rights to David Harrison – performance rights and options plan (deferred portion of short term incentive for FY21) 99.17% 0.83% Carried
Issue of service rights to David Harrison – performance rights and options plan (deferred portion of long term incentive for FY22) 86.41% 13.59% Carried
Issue of ROP PERF rights to David Harrison retention and outperformance plan 61.27% 38.73% Carried
Remuneration of non-executive directors 99.87% 0.13% Carried

 

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