Tuesday 24 April 2018

Remuneration packages of Kingspan execs rejected by nearly a third of shareholders at AGM

Gene Murtagh Jnr of Kingspan
Gene Murtagh Jnr of Kingspan
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The pay packages for Kingspan executives for 2015 were rejected by nearly a third of shareholder votes at the company’s AGM this morning.

The company’s chief executive Gene Murtagh said a mid-year change to a bonus scheme had been flagged with the company as a bone of contention.

Chief executive Gene Murtagh said a mid-year change to a bonus scheme had been flagged with the company as a bone of contention.

“What I understand there is that it wasn’t a question of quantum at all, in fact quantum got total support,” he said.

“The issue that seemed to arise was that there was a change in one of the incentive packages mid-year... that’s what we gather. It’s more the protocol of that,” he added.

The scheme in question is a deferred bonus plan which rewards executive directors for growth beyond the targets set by a separate performance-related bonus. The maximum amount receivable is 50pc of salary, with the award deferred for two years and made in shares.

A company spokesman said the policy “is designed to reward superior performance that benefits shareholders.”

“Following a record year in 2015, during which the company’s earnings per share increased by 70pc, and the total dividend to shareholders rose by 54pc, we are pleased that over 68pc of our shareholders have voted in favour of the policy.”

Kingspan announced this morning that sales for the first four months of 2016 were 25pc ahead of the previous year at €903.1m. However, the company said it was “conscious that the second half will have a tougher comparative”.

“We have seen steel prices increase modestly and we anticipate more substantial increases to come in the third quarter. We have positioned the business to recover this although it will be challenging.”

Mr Murtagh said the company’s spending power for acquisitions in the 2016 financial year is likely to be around €400m. The company made two acquisitions at the end of last month: an insulated panel business in the UK, and an environmental business in Australia.

Mr Murtagh said he expects the company’s revenues to top €3bn this year, having reached €2.8bn in 2015, and that the impact of a Brexit on the business was unquantifiable.

“Obviously the prevalent school of thought is that if Brexit were to happen, it’s an almighty negative. I’m not so sure it actually turns out to be that way, clearly our preference is that it doesn’t.”

“We’d end up with a huge manufacturing base in the UK, and were (the pound) to devalue, which is what’s widely publicised, naturally we’re in an extremely strong exporting position, just to be selfish about it.

“So there are any amount of scenarios that Brexit can lead to, and I think let it develop first before we try and guess which version it’s going to be.”

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