Business Irish

Saturday 24 February 2018

Shareholders back Grafton board pay plan

Grafton chief executive Gavin Slark
Grafton chief executive Gavin Slark
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Shareholders in Grafton Group have overwhelmingly endorsed the company's pay and incentive structure for directors including CEO Gavin Slark.

At the company's annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday, 96.9pc of votes cast were in favour of its new remuneration policy.

The outcome was despite the influential UK shareholder advisory group PIRC last month criticising plans to increase the amount that Mr Slark and other key management can earn under Grafton's long-term incentive plan.

Grafton was the latest Irish firm to come under the spotlight of shareholder advisory groups.

PIRC had also argued that the change in Mr Slark's total pay over the past five years was "not commensurate" with the total change in the company's total shareholder return on the same period. But Mr Slark's increased 30pc between 2012 and 2015, while the total shareholder return in the same period was 300pc.

At the annual general meeting, 99.5pc of votes cast endorsed Grafton's remuneration report.

Grafton Group reported a strong start to the year, with revenues up 7.7pc to £851m (€1bn) and by 6.1pc on a like-for-like basis in the first four months of the year.

It warned that prospects in the UK remain highly uncertain given political and economic developments there.

But it said that its UK merchanting business performed well in the first four months, with revenue rising 2.5pc in the period. Average daily like-for-like store growth was up 4.8pc. Grafton said its UK merchanting arm benefited from measures designed to improve profitability, including a restructuring plan implemented late last year.

Grafton noted that its merchanting business in Ireland continued to outperform in what it said was a strong market.

"The recovery in construction activity was broadly based with positive demand trends in both residential and non-residential markets," it said.

Irish Independent

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