25/11/2021 - 16:19

NRW hit by protest votes yet share price up

25/11/2021 - 16:19

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NRW Holdings’ shareholders have lodged multiple protest votes at today’s annual general meeting while also supporting a lift in the company’s share price.

NRW hit by protest votes yet share price up
Jules Pemberton (L) with NRW chairman Michael Arnett.

NRW Holdings’ shareholders have lodged multiple protest votes at today’s annual general meeting while also supporting a lift in the company’s share price.

NRW shares jumped 8.4 per cent to close at $1.735 today after managing director Jules Pemberton provided an update on the diversified contractor's earnings outlook.

“I hope to be in a position to improve our full year earnings guidance when we announce our half year results,” Mr Pemberton told the AGM.

The company has previously announced that its earnings (operating EBIT) for the current financial year are expected to be between $145 million and $155 million.

Mr Pemberton said that consistent with this guidance, the company expected first-half earnings to be between $70 million and $75 million.

“Given we always expected second half activity to be higher than the first half, a half year result consistent with the guidance would be at the high end of our full year earnings guidance,” he said today.

Mr Pemberton said that if the company could maintain activity levels for the rest of the year, he hoped to be in a position to improve full year earnings guidance.

In contrast to the support for NRW’s share price, many shareholders have voted against resolutions at the AGM.

There was a 39 per cent vote against adoption of the remuneration report, following a similar protest vote last year.

This automatically triggered a special resolution to spill all board resolutions, but shareholders had little interest in seeing this happen.

There was an overwhelming 89 per cent vote against a board spill, similar to what has occurred at other listed companies in this situation.

There were also big votes against the granting of performance rights to Mr Pemberton, with 32 per cent against the FY21 rights and 15 per cent against the FY22 rights.

In addition, there was a 29 per cent vote against a resolution to double the total remuneration pool for non-executive directors to $1.5 million.

Twenty per cent of shareholders voted against the re-election of long-serving director Peter Johnston, who chairs the board's remuneration committee, while 7 per cent were against the re-election of Jeff Dowling.

The protest votes come one month after the company announced that Mr Pemberton’s fixed remuneration would increase from $1.2 million to $1.25 million.

His total remuneration in FY21, including cash bonuses and equity incentives, was $2.8 million.

This made Mr Pemberton one of WA’s highest paid executives.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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