Interactive Investor

Your vote counts: record AIM listing to hold first AGM

18th February 2022 08:38

Graeme Evans from interactive investor

A new name in the AGM calendar is holding its first meeting, while shareholders of two other well-known companies are gathering in the coming days.

Shareholders of record AIM listing Victorian Plumbing (LSE:VIC) will get their first chance to quiz bosses when the bathroom supplier holds its inaugural AGM next week.

The meeting in Manchester includes a resolution seeking shareholder support for the company's newly introduced three-year remuneration policy.

On The Beach (LSE:OTB) and Paragon Banking Group (LSE:PAG) are also holding meetings in the coming days. At the AGM of Virgin Money, held on Thursday, shareholders backed its remuneration report with 91% of votes in favour.

Victorian Plumbing

When: 9.30am, Thursday 24 February.

Where: PwC LLP, No 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester M3 3EB.

How to participate: Proxy voting forms must be submitted by 9.30am on Tuesday 22 February. Shareholders can submit questions in advance by emailing More details on the AGM can be found here.

Who's in the chair? Philip Bowcock, chief executive of William Hill from 2016 to 2019.

How did the company do in the year to 30 September? Revenues rose 29% to £268.8 million and adjusted earnings by 53% to £40.1 million, despite subdued conditions over the summer. IPO-related costs and impact of share-based payments caused earnings per share to fall 28% to 5.3p a share. No dividend was declared but the company hopes to pay one this year.

How did shares perform? Down 4% on June placing price to 251p (84.5p on Thursday).

How much is the boss paid? Chief executive and majority shareholder Mark Radcliffe founded Victorian Plumbing in 2000 and has led the business ever since. His base salary has been set at £250,000 for the current year, below the £315,000 paid to chief financial officer Paul Meehan.

What's in the remuneration policy? The maximum bonus for executive directors is 100% of salary, with 70% of this award based on performance against earnings targets and the rest on customer satisfaction. The first grant under the long-term incentive scheme will be made this year and provide the potential for maximum awards of 150% of salary.

What's the view of voting agencies? As an AIM-listed company, Victorian Plumbing does not have to seek shareholder approval for its remuneration report and remuneration policy. Glass Lewis is recommending support for both, although it is concerned there's no provision for bonus awards to be deferred into shares.

On The Beach

When: 11am, Friday 25 February.

Where: Aeroworks, 5 Adair Street, Manchester M1 2NQ.

How to participate: Shareholders can vote via or by submitting proxy voting forms in advance of 11am on Wednesday 23 February. More details on the AGM can be found here.

Who's in the chair? Former Co-op chief executive Richard Pennycook, who has been chair since April 2019.

How did the company do in the year to 30 September? Covid-19 disruption meant the package holidays business saw a 37% fall in revenues to £21.2 million and took £10 million of exceptional charges due to cancellations and administrative expenses. The loss for the year reduced on a year earlier to £36.7 million, leading to a loss per share of 19p. It raised £24.9 million in a share placing in July.

How did shares perform? Up 60.5% to 383p (286p on Thursday).

How much is the boss paid? Founder Simon Cooper, who led the business through its 2015 flotation, got £210,000 in the financial year, with no annual bonus or vesting of long-term incentives (LTIP). His basic salary increased by 4.2% from January.

What's in the new three-year remuneration policy? Bonus and LTIP performance metrics are being adjusted to allow more flexibility to align with the strategy of the business post-Covid. The maximum LTIP grant award is to be increased from 200% to 300% of salary, but this will only be applied in exceptional circumstances.

What's the view of voting agencies? Glass Lewis notes that the salary of chief financial officer Shaun Morton has increased 10% to £275,000. It dislikes high pay rises, but in this case acknowledges the lower starting salary in 2020 compared with Morton's predecessor. Performance targets attached to long-term incentive awards also cause concern as these are based on metrics that may reflect factors outside the control of executives. However, the agency recommends that shareholders support the annual remuneration report and the binding vote on the three-year remuneration policy.

How did last year's AGM go? The annual remuneration report received 99.85% of votes in favour.

How is the company doing on diversity? Women account for a third of boardroom roles but the company acknowledges it has progress to make in terms of improving the diversity of the board and its executive team.

Paragon Banking Group

When: 9am, Wednesday 2 March.

Where: UBS AG London Branch at 5 Broadgate, London, EC2M 2QS.

How to participate: A live webcast of the AGM is available via the Lumi platform. Shareholders wishing to attend in person should contact by 28 February. This address and deadline also applies to questions from shareholders. More details on the AGM can be found here.

Who's in the chair? Banking industry veteran Fiona Clutterbuck, who joined the board in 2012 and became its chair in 2018.

How did the company do in the year to 30 September? At over £2.6 billion, aggregate new lending exceeded pre-pandemic levels and the company also grew retail deposits by 18.4%. Earnings lifted 62% to £194 million and earnings per share by 81.1% to 65.2p, with the full-year dividend for payment on 4 March up to 18.9p a share from 14.4p last time.

How did shares perform? Up 62.5% to 545.5p (547p on Thursday).

How much is the boss paid? Nigel Terrington's annual salary has been increased, in line with the wider workforce, by 5% to £628,695. His fixed pay for 2020/21 came to £873,000 due to a role based allowance of £140,000, which is paid quarterly in shares and released over five years. His variable pay included a cash and shares bonus worth £863,000 after the company's strong performance and improved capital position resulted in 96% of the maximum opportunity. Share awards worth £1.3 million took his total remuneration to £3.1 million.

How did last year's AGM go? The annual remuneration report got 98% support.

What's the viewing of voting agencies? Glass Lewis is concerned that the vesting of long-term incentives is based on performance measured against earnings in the final year of the period, rather than its preferred option of all three years. However, it recommends that shareholders vote in favour of the remuneration report.

How is the company doing on diversity? The company has met its Hampton-Alexander targets for board and senior management, and its wider diversity targets under the Women in Finance initiative. It intends to meet the Parker Review requirements on ethnic diversity in the boardroom ahead of its 2024 deadline.

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