As Chairman my role is to lead the Board, ensure it operates effectively and contains the right balance of skills, diversity and experience. The Board is collectively responsible for the long-term success of the Company and for setting and executing the business strategy.
Good corporate governance is a key element of our business success and we have in place a strong and effective governance framework and practices to ensure that high standards of governance, values and behaviours are consistently applied throughout the Group. These elements are critical to business integrity and maintaining the trust of all stakeholders in Halfords.
The following Corporate Governance Report contains a summary of the Company's governance arrangements and the regulatory assurances required under the UK Corporate Governance Code 2016.
I would encourage you to attend this year's Annual General Meeting where you can meet me and my Board colleagues.
22 May 2018
Good corporate governance is a key element of our business success and we have in place a strong and effective governance framework and practices to ensure that high standards of governance, values and behaviours are consistently applied throughout the Group.
Corporate Governance Statement
The Board confirms that during the year ended 30 March 2018, and as at the date of this report, the Company has fully complied, without exception, with the provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code 2016 (the "Code"), and will continue to do so. A copy of the Code is available on the Financial Reporting Council's website at www.frc.org.uk.
This report, together with the other statutory disclosures and reports from the Audit, Nomination and Remuneration Committees, provides details of how the Company has applied the principles of good governance set out in the Code during the period under review.
The Company has also complied with the requirements under the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules, the Listing Rules and the BIS Directors' Remuneration Reporting regulations and narrative reporting requirements.
As at the date of this report, the Board of Directors comprised of six members; the Non-Executive Chairman, three other Non-Executive Directors and two Executive Directors. The composition of the Board is as set out in the Directors' Report and the biographies of individual Directors, including any other business commitments, are available in the Board of Directors. The Board believes it has an appropriate balance of Executive and independent Non-Executive Directors having regard to the size and nature of the business.
During the year, on 1 February 2018, our Chairman was appointed as Senior Independent Director of Superdry plc.
Executive Directors 2
Non-Executive Directors 3
In May 2017, Jill McDonald tendered her resignation as Chief Executive Officer in order to take up a senior position at Marks and Spencer plc. Jill was appointed in May 2015, and made a positive impact across the business. Jill left Halfords on 29 September 2017 with a strong team and clear strategy to drive future growth. On 13 September 2017, we completed our search for a new Chief Executive Officer and welcomed Graham Stapleton to the business on 15 January 2018. In the period between Jill McDonald leaving the Company and Graham Stapleton joining, Jonny Mason, Chief Financial Officer, acted as Interim Chief Executive Officer.
As announced on 27 March 2018, Jonny Mason resigned from the position of Chief Financial Officer to take up the position of Group Finance Director at Dixons Carphone plc. Jonny will remain as Chief Financial Officer until the end of his notice period in September 2018. The process is under way by the Nomination Committee to find his replacement.
On 22 May 2018, it was announced that Keith Williams will be joining Halfords as Chairman on 24 July 2018. As mentioned in last year's annual report, Dennis Millard will have been in office for nine years this year, and so in accordance with the Code and best practice, Dennis will stand down at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting ("AGM") on 24 July 2018.
The Company recognises the importance of its Non-Executive Directors remaining independent and the Code recommends that, at least half of the Board of Directors, excluding the Chairman should comprise of Non-Executive Directors, determined by the board to be independent in character and judgement and free from relationships or circumstances which may affect or could appear to affect the Director's judgement. Following a rigorous review, the Board considers David Adams, Claudia Arney and Helen Jones to be independent in character and judgement in accordance with the Code. As a result, in compliance with the Code, at least half of the Board, excluding the Chairman, are deemed to be independent. In accordance with the Code, the Chairman, Dennis Millard, was considered independent upon his appointment
Director Tenure and Board Succession
Succession planning for the Board continues to be ongoing and will be considered in more detail during the annual evaluation of the Board performance. It is also expected that, following the appointment of the new Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, the new Chairman will review the composition, skills and experience of the Board. This is especially relevant given that both David Adams and Claudia Arney have already served several years and will both be due to stand down in the next two years.
In compliance with the Code and the Company's Articles of Association, the majority of the Directors on the Board as at 22 May 2018, will seek re-election at the 2018 Annual General Meeting ("AGM"), these being, David Adams, Helen Jones, Claudia Arney and Jonny Mason. Graham Stapleton and Keith Williams will be elected for the first time at the 2018 AGM.
The Board is committed to ensuring that it provides leadership to the business as a whole, having regard to the interests and views of its shareholders and other stakeholders. It is also responsible for setting the Group's strategy, values and standards. The following links give details of the Group's business model and strategy.
The roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer are separate and clearly defined, with the division of responsibilities set out in writing and agreed by the Board.
The Chairman is responsible for the effective leadership, operation and governance of the Board and its Committees. He ensures that all Directors contribute effectively in the development and implementation of the Company's strategy whilst ensuring that the nature and extent of the significant risks the Company is willing to embrace in the implementation of its strategy are determined and challenged.
The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the management of the Group's business and for implementing the Group's strategy.
Further details and the definitions of the roles are available at www.halfordscompany.com/investors/governance/division-of-responsibilities-between-the-chairman-and-chief-executive-officer
The Directors, together, act in the best interests of the Company via the Board and its Committees, devoting sufficient time and consideration as necessary to fulfil their duties. Each Director brings different skills, experience and knowledge to the Company, with the Non-Executive Directors additionally bringing independent thought and judgement. This combination seeks to ensure that no individual or group unduly restricts or controls decision-making.
The Chairman – Key Responsibilities
- Manages and provides leadership to the Board
- Builds an effective and complementary Board
- Sets the agenda, style and tone of Board discussions
- Facilitates and encourages active engagement in meetings, promoting effective relationships and open communication
- Ensures effective communication with shareholders and other stakeholders
- Acts as an adviser to the Chief Executive Officer
- Meets with the Non-Executive Directors without Executive Directors being present
Chief Executive Officer
- Responsible for the day-to-day management of the Company
- Develops the Group objectives and strategy for Board approval
- Creates and recommends to the Board an annual budget and financial plan
- Delivers the annual budget and plan and other objectives and executes the agreed Group strategy
- Identifies and executes new business opportunities and potential acquisitions or disposals
- Manages the Group's risks in line with the Board approved risk profile
Senior Independent Director
- Provides a sounding board for the Chairman
- Holds meetings with the other Non-Executive Directors without the Chairman at least once a year to appraise the Chairman's performance
- Acts as an intermediary for the other Directors
- Available to other Directors and shareholders with concerns that cannot be addressed through the normal channels
- Evaluate and appraise the performance of Executive Directors and Senior Management against agreed targets
- Participate in the development of the strategy of the Group
- Monitor the financial information, risk management and controls processes of the Group to make sure that they are sufficiently robust
- Meet regularly with senior management
- Periodically visit Halfords, Cycle Republic and Performance Cycling retail stores, Autocentres outlets and distribution centres
- Meet together without the Executive Directors present
- Participate in a training programme including store visits and updates from management
- Formulate Executive Director remuneration and succession planning
- Works closely with the Chairman, Group Chief Executive Officer and Board Committee Chairmen in setting the rolling calendar of agenda items for the meetings of the Board and its Committees
- Ensures accurate, timely and appropriate information flows within the Board, the Committees and between the Directors and senior management
- Provides advice on Board matters, legal and regulatory issues, corporate governance, Listing Rules compliance and best practice
To ensure that the Board has the skills, knowledge and experience to be effective in discharging its responsibilities and to have oversight of all governance matters.
The Nomination Committee's responsibilities include:
- making appropriate recommendations to maintain the balance of skills and experience of the Board by:
- considering the size, structure and composition of the Board;
- considering senior management succession plans; and
- identifying and making recommendations to the Board on potential candidates for the Board.
More information on Diversity in the Group can be found in the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee Report
Read more within the Nomination Committee Report
To provide effective governance over the Group's financial reporting processes. These include the internal audit function and external Auditor. The Committee maintains oversight of the Group's systems of internal control and risk management activities.
The Audit Committee's responsibilities include:
- making recommendations to the Board on the appointment/removal of the external Auditor, the terms of engagement and fees;
- reviewing and monitoring the integrity of the Company's financial statements, including its annual and interim reports and preliminary results announcements and any other formal announcement relating to its financial performance, and recommending the same to the Board;
- assisting the Board in achieving its obligations under the Code in areas of risk management and internal control; and
- focusing particularly on compliance with legal requirements, accounting standards and the Listing Rules.
Read more within the Audit Committee Report
To ensure that a Board policy exists for the remuneration of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chairman, Non-Executive Directors, other Executive Directors and members of the executive management.
The Remuneration Committee's responsibilities include:
- recommending to the Board the total individual remuneration package of Executive Directors and members of the executive management;
- consideration of senior executive remuneration and oversight of remuneration matters generally;
- recommending the design of the Company share incentive plans to the Board, approving any awards to Executive Directors and other executive managers under those plans and defining any performance conditions attached to those awards;
- determining the Chairman's fee, following a proposal from the CEO; and
- maintaining an active dialogue with institutional investors and shareholder representatives.
Read more within the Remuneration Committee Report
The Nomination, Audit and Remuneration Committees' full Terms of Reference are available on the Company's website at www.halfordscompany.com/investors/governance/our-committees or on request from the Company Secretary.
The key responsibilities of Board members are set out in the chart in the Corporate Governance Report.
A formal schedule of matters reserved for the Board is in place and regularly reviewed.
This is available at www.halfordscompany.com/investors/governance/ matters-reserved-for-the-board
To discharge these responsibilities effectively, the Board has additionally implemented a system of delegated authorities, which is described in the Corporate Governance Report. This enables the effective day-to-day operation of the business and ensures that significant matters are brought to the attention of management and the Board as appropriate. It is through this system that the Board is able to provide oversight and direction to the Executive Directors, the Senior Management Team and the wider business.
Matters Reserved for the Board include: Authority; Strategy and Management; Structure and Capital; Investor Relations; Audit, Financial Reporting and Controls; Nominations to the Board; Executive Remuneration and material contracts.
Board Meetings and Attendance
|Board Member||Board Meetings Scheduled: 8||Audit Committee Meetings Scheduled: 3||Remuneration Committee Meetings Scheduled: 5||Nomination Committee Meetings Scheduled: 3|
|Graham Stapleton (appointed 15 January 2018)||3/3||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Jill McDonald (resigned 29 September 2017)||3/3||n/a||n/a||0/11|
- Until Jill McDonald's resignation in September 2017, she was a member of the Nomination Committee. In November 2017, the Terms of Reference of the Nomination Committee were amended, in accordance with best practice, to reflect that no Executive Director be allowed to become a member of the Nomination Committee.
- David Adams was unable to attend the Board meeting, the Audit Committee Meeting, the, Remuneration Committee meeting and the Nomination Committee meeting on 22 March 2018 due to an unexpected and pressing commitment in relation to another company.
The table above shows the attendance of Directors at the meetings of the Board and of the Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees during the year ended 30 March 2018. In addition to those scheduled meetings, three further unscheduled Board and Remuneration Committee meetings were convened to discuss and approve the exit remuneration arrangements for Jill McDonald and Jonny Mason, and to approve the appointment of Graham Stapleton as Chief Executive Officer and his associated remuneration package. Furthermore, two additional Board calls were held during the period to review and approve the 20 week and Q3 trading statements. These additional meetings were all quorate, and all directors received the relevant papers and provided the required approval.
Other members of the Senior Management Team and advisors attended Board meetings by invitation as appropriate throughout the year.
At each Board meeting, the Chief Executive Officer delivers a high level update on the business, and the Board considers specific reports, reviews business and financial performance, key initiatives, risks and governance. In addition, throughout the year the Senior Management Team and other colleagues deliver presentations to the Board on proposed initiatives and progress on projects.
Board Activity in FY18
Key Board discussions and actions during the period
- Review of trading performance
- Review of the Group's annual colleague engagement survey
- Review of Autocentres
- Review of Cycling
- Review of cyber attack actions
- Amendment and extension to Bank Debt Facility
- 5 Year Plan Update
- Review of the preliminary results announcement
- Final review of the FY17 Annual Report and Financial Statements
- Approval to recommend the FY17 final dividend
- Update on Financial Control Process
- Review of Board Evaluation results
- Approval of Directors' Appointment and Directors' Conflicts of Interest Register
- Approval of Risk Register
- Approval of Notice of Meeting and Proxy Form for FY17 AGM
- Review of trading performance
- Review of Autocentres
- Q1 Forecast
- Approval of role of Chairman, role of Chief Executive Officer and role of Senior Independent Director
- Approval of Halfords Group plc Share Dealing Policy and Share Dealing Code
- Review of 2017 proxy voting figures and shareholder feedback
- Met with shareholders at the 2017 AGM
- Review of trading performance
- Investor Relations Update
- Review of trading performance
- Update on Cycling Performance and Market
- Update on Digital and Autocentres
- Review and approval of Halfords' Modern Slavery Statement
- Review and approval of Sanctions Policy
- Review of 20 week trading results
- Review of trading performance
- Review of Infrastructure
- Update on Group Cycling Strategy
- Update on Autocentres plan
- Review of draft interim results announcement and proposed messaging
- Approval of interim dividend and dividend policy
- Approval of Data Protection Policy
- Review of trading performance
- Discussion of Halfords Autocentres Transformation Programme
- Update on Tyres On The Drive – 1 year on
- Review of planned projects for FY19
- Update on potential M&A
- Investor Relations Update
- Review of trading performance
- Update on Boardman Performance Centre
- GDPR Update
- Discussion of Gender Pay Gap Report
- Implemented the induction process for the new Chief Executive Officer Graham Stapleton
- Review of Q3 results
- Review of trading performance
- CEO's Interim Review of the Business
- Review of FY19 budget
- Review and approve Environmental Policy and Health and Safety Policy
- Review and approve Matters Reserved for the Board
- Review the proposal on the election and re-election of Directors at the FY18 AGM
- Review NED programme for FY19
- Review of draft reports for inclusion in the FY18 Annual Report and Financial Statements
The Board's principal Committees are the Audit Committee, the Nomination Committee and the Remuneration Committee, as detailed in the chart in the Above. A Corporate Social Responsibility ("CSR") Committee was established in December 2015, comprising of Directors and senior management and chaired by a Non-Executive Director. Each Committee has its Terms of Reference approved and regularly reviewed by the Board.
The Terms of Reference for the Committees are available at www.halfordscompany.com/investors/governance
In the following sections (Nomination Committee Report, Corporate Social Responsibility Committee Report, Audit Committee Report, Remuneration Committee Report) each Committee Chairman reports how the Committee he/she chairs discharged its responsibilities in FY18 and the material matters that were considered.
Following each meeting of a Committee, the Committee Chairman reports to the Board. Whilst not entitled to attend, other Directors, professional advisors and members of senior management attend when invited to do so. The Auditor attends Audit Committee meetings by invitation. No person is present at Nomination Committee meetings or Remuneration Committee meetings during discussions pertinent to them. The Company Secretary acts as the secretary to each Committee.
A Disclosure Committee, made up of a minimum of two Directors, approves the final wording of market announcements prior to release. There were six Disclosure Committee meetings during the period.
The day-to-day investment decisions of the Group are approved by an Investment Committee, chaired by the Chief Financial Officer. Similarly, the treasury needs of the Group are managed by the Treasury Committee, chaired by the Chief Financial Officer; the other members are senior members of the Finance and Treasury teams.
The Board may establish other ad hoc committees of the Board to consider specific issues from time to time. No such committees were formed during the year.
The Chairman seeks to resolve any concerns raised by the Board, whether raised in a Board meeting or in another forum. Where raised and unresolved in a Board meeting, the unresolved business can be recorded on behalf of a Director in the minutes of the relevant meeting. A resigning Non-Executive Director would also be able to raise any concerns in a written letter to the Chairman, who would bring such concerns to the attention of the Board. No such concerns have been raised throughout the period.
Skills and Experience of the Board
Delivering the journey
The below graphic illustrates the number of Directors on the Board who have the relevant skills and experience.
The Group recognises the importance of diversity, including gender diversity, at all levels of the organisation. The Group's Diversity Policy (the "Policy") is reviewed annually and sets out our commitment to eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity. The Policy is applied to the Group including the Board and it is considered that the background and experience brought to the Board by each individual demonstrates the Board's diversity and commitment to its Diversity Policy.
The Group does not apply a fixed quota on diversity to decisions regarding recruitment. The Nomination Committee considers the Policy and ensures we have a sufficiently diverse Board in terms of age, gender and educational and professional background. The Nomination Committee also keeps under review the structure, size and composition of the Board and considers capability and capacity to commit the necessary time to the role in its recommendations to the Board. The intention is to ensure the appointment of the most suitably qualified candidate to complement and balance the current skills, knowledge, experience and diversity on the Board. Those appointed are deemed to be the best able to help lead the Company in its long-term strategy. At Halfords a third of the Board is female, which is in line with the recommended target as published by the Hampton-Alexander Review ("Improving Gender Balance in FTSE Leadership") in November 2017. The charts below demonstrate the gender split at Board level, within senior management and across the workforce as a whole.
The Board is well placed by the mixture of skills, experience and knowledge of its Directors to act in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders.
New Directors receive a full, formal and personally tailored induction on joining the Board. This includes meeting with the Directors, the executive team, and other key personnel, together with visiting the Group's stores, Autocentres and other operational and distribution sites. The induction also includes training on governance and the Group's corporate social responsibility strategy, which focuses on four key areas, these being colleagues, community, environmental management and responsible trading. The induction programme facilitates their understanding of the Group and the key drivers of the business' performance. Graham Stapleton, received a full tailored induction following his appointment in January 2018. The new Chairman, Keith Williams, and the new Chief Financial Officer will receive the same upon their appointment.
Directors' Training and Development
All Directors have various opportunities for ongoing development and support via:
- a programme of Support Centre, distribution centre, Halfords, Cycle Republic and Tredz and Wheelies retail stores and Autocentres outlet visits;
- reviews with the Chairman to identify any training and development needs;
- advice on governance, regulatory and legislative changes affecting the business or their duties as Directors from the Company Secretary;
- access to independent professional advice at the Company's expense; and
- membership of the Deloitte Academy, a training and guidance resource for boards and directors.
In accordance with the Code, the Board is responsible for undertaking a formal and rigorous annual evaluation of its own performance and that of its Committees and individual Directors. In FY18 the process was facilitated externally by the Board, with the assistance of Oliver Ziehn of Lintstock. Neither, Mr Ziehn nor Lintstock has any other connection with the Company. This external review satisfied the Code's recommendation that an external review should be undertaken externally at least every third year, the previous one was undertaken in 2015.
Progress on FY17 evaluation (internal review)
The outcomes of the internal Board evaluation for FY17 were reported in the 2017 Annual Report. Details of progress made on these areas are set out below:
|Succession planning||Corporate governance and NED programme||Strategy Day|
|FY17 outcomes||Improved succession planning required||More corporate governance updates to be provided|
Ensuring continuation of NED training programme
|More focus on Board Strategy Day|
|Progress made in FY18||Although the succession plans for the Board have been considered during the year, they will need to be fully reviewed again, following the appointment of the new Chairman in succession to Dennis Millard. It is expected that the new Chairman will work with the Chief Executive Officer and will review the overall Board structure particularly as part of the ongoing process of appointing a new Chief Financial Officer.||During the period, the Non-Executive Directors have undertaken a comprehensive programme of visits to the major locations where the business operates. These structured meetings have enabled them to spend time with the Executive Directors, the senior management team and numerous colleagues in retail stores and Autocentres. This programme will continue and improvements will be incorporated wherever necessary. To ensure that the Directors are kept informed of ongoing developments in corporate governance, they have been provided during the year with reports and updates both on proposed new changes to the UK Corporate Governance Code and on the voting guidelines or recommendations from shareholders (such as Aviva) and shareholder bodies (such as ISS).||Following his appointment in January 2018, Graham Stapleton has organised a comprehensive review of the strategy of the business. This work is currently ongoing but it is expected that once completed it will replace the current strategy known as 'Moving Up A Gear' which was introduced as a three year plan in 2015 by Graham's predecessor, Jill McDonald.|
FY18 Board Performance Evaluation (externally facilitated review)
The responses to the external evaluation surveys were submitted by the Directors and then collated by Lintstock. Many areas were positively or highly rated such as: Board Dynamics, Management of Meetings; Board Support; Focus of Meetings; Strategic Oversight; Risk Management and Internal Control. The responses also indicated various areas on which the Board should focus in the coming year. The priorities for the incoming Chairman in their first year included: supporting the new Chief Executive; addressing strategic issues; developing relationships with stakeholders; understanding the business and markets; and reviewing the Board composition. The priorities for the Board for the coming year included: supporting the Chief Executive (particularly in regard to strategy); focussing on strategy; completing recruitment; and addressing talent and succession. These matters will be considered, developed and monitored throughout the coming year.
Directors and their Other Interests
Details of the Directors' service contracts, emoluments, the interests of the Directors and their immediate families in the share capital of the Company and options to subscribe for shares in the Company are shown in the Directors' Remuneration Report.
In line with the requirement of the Companies Act 2006, each Director has notified the Company of any situation in which he or she has, or could have, a direct or indirect interest that conflicts, or possibly may conflict, with the interests of the Company (a situational conflict), and a register of these is maintained by the Company Secretary.
During the period Claudia Arney notified the Company of her interest in Aviva plc, of which she is a director, following Aviva plc's appointment as underwriter for the Group's main liability insurance policies (property, motor, employee and product). Claudia did not take part in any discussions or negotiations relating to either the insurance renewal or the contract in particular.
All Directors are aware of the need to consult with the Company Secretary should any possible situational conflict arise, so that prior consideration can be given by the Board as to whether or not such conflict will be approved.
Internal Control and Risk Management
Overall responsibility for the system of internal control and reviewing its effectiveness rests with the Board. This involves ensuring that there is a process to identify, evaluate and manage any significant risks that may affect the achievement of the Group's strategic objectives.
The Board has conducted an annual review of the effectiveness of the systems of internal control during the year, under the auspices of the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee provides the Board with an independent assessment of the Group's financial position, accounting affairs and control systems. In addition, the Board receives regular reports on how specific risks that are assessed as material to the Group are being managed. For further information on the Company's compliance with the Code provisions relating to the Audit Committee and Auditor please refer to the Audit Committee Report.
The risk management and internal control system is designed to manage, rather than eliminate, the risk of failing to achieve business objectives and can provide only reasonable, and not absolute, assurance against material misstatement or loss. The Board's policy on internal control is implemented by management through a clearly defined operating structure with lines of responsibility and delegated authority.
An ongoing process for identifying, evaluating and managing the significant risks faced by the Group and assessing the effectiveness of related controls has been established by the Board to ensure an acceptable risk/reward profile across the Group. The Group's corporate risk register is maintained by the Internal Audit function. It records key risks, with impact and likelihood assessments, mitigations and ongoing developments. It is updated regularly, following structured interviews with managers and executives across the Group. The accuracy of the register is validated through a rolling programme of independent internal audits. The register is scrutinised in detail annually by the Audit Committee. Any material change in the register is flagged to the Audit Committee by the Internal Audit function within regular internal audit progress reports. The process has been in place throughout the period ended 30 March 2018, and up to the date of approving the Annual Report and Financial Statements.
Our process for identifying, evaluating and managing the significant risks faced by the Group and assessing the effectiveness of related controls routinely identifies areas for improvement, but the Board has neither identified nor been advised of any failings or weaknesses that it has determined to be material or significant. Among the routine areas for improvement, the Board has considered certain control enhancements in areas such as cash recording in stores, supplier master file amendments, and user access rights to IT systems.
The Board considered its appetite in relation to the Group's top risks, determining that the risks and mitigating actions were appropriate to the level of risk that was both acceptable to, and incumbent within, a listed business. More information on the Company's key risks and uncertainties, and its risk assessment methodology, is shown in Our Principal Risks and Uncertainties.
The Board is committed to effective communications with its shareholders and, accordingly, has a strong Investor Relations ("IR") programme that seeks to actively engage with shareholders.
This programme includes formal presentations of full year and interim results. These presentations, along with the Annual Report and Accounts, are the primary means of shareholder communication during the year. Additionally, the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and IR Director have met with analysts and institutional shareholders during the period to keep them informed of significant developments and help maintain a balanced understanding of their issues and concerns. The IR Director and Company Secretary bring to the attention of the Board any material matters of concern raised by the Company's shareholders, including private investors.
KEY THEMES DISCUSSED WITH SHAREHOLDERS IN FY18
- Progress in the execution of the Moving Up A Gear strategy;
- The dynamics of the Motoring and Cycling markets, including the growth prospects, competitive environment and future trends;
- The impact of foreign exchange volatility following the EU referendum;
- Gross and operating margin performance;
- Board and Management changes and succession planning; and
- Capital allocation priorities; in particular, the trends and preferences surrounding internal investment, M&A and returns to shareholders.
The Chairman is responsible for ensuring that appropriate channels of communication are established between Directors and shareholders and that all Directors are aware of any issues or concerns that major shareholders may have. Regular engagement provides investors with an opportunity to discuss any areas of interest and raise concerns. The Group is eager to make sure that it understands shareholders' views and that it is able to effectively communicate its strategy. The Group engages effectively through its regular communications, the Annual General Meeting and other IR activity.
The Group has a comprehensive IR programme through which the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and IR Director regularly engage with the Company's largest shareholders on a one-to-one basis, to discuss strategic issues and give presentations on the Group's results. Further communication is achieved through the Annual Report and Accounts, corporate website and investor meetings.
- Annual Report and Accounts – this is the most significant communication tool, ensuring that investors are kept fully informed regarding Group developments. Management continually strives to produce a clear and transparent Annual Report and Accounts, which provides a complete picture;
- The corporate website – provides investors with timely information on the Group's performance as well as details of corporate social responsibility activities;
- Management roadshow – allows key investors to access management, usually attended by the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and IR Director;
- Attending broker conferences – Management regularly attends and presents at various conferences hosted by a variety of brokers to ensure a wide variety of existing shareholders and potential shareholders, including those from different geographies, also have access to management; and
- Responding promptly – the Group is committed to responding to any investor-related queries within a short time frame.
IR calendar for FY19
- FY18 Prelim Results
- UK Management Roadshow
- FY19 20 Week Trading Update
- Strategy Presentation
- UK Management Roadshow
- FY19 Interim Results
- UK Management Roadshow
- FY19 Q3 Trading Statement
We aim to encourage our shareholders to receive communications by electronic means, helping to make the Company more environmentally friendly. Information available on the Company's website includes current and historic copies of the Annual Report and Accounts, full and half-year financial statements, market announcements, corporate governance information, the Terms of Reference for the Audit, Nomination and Remuneration Committees and the Matters Reserved for the Board.
The Annual General Meeting gives all shareholders the opportunity to communicate directly with the Board and their participation is welcomed. The Chairmen of the Remuneration, Nomination, Audit and CSR Committees will be present at the AGM and will be in a position to answer questions relevant to the work of those Committees. It is the Company's practice to propose separate resolutions on each substantial issue at the Annual General Meeting. The Chairman will advise shareholders on the proxy voting details at the meeting.
By order of the Board
22 May 2018