Kingspan’s pay policy opposed by almost a quarter of shareholders
Group says after its agm that it will ‘consider’ shareholder pay concerns
Gene Murtagh: he said Kingspan had a healthy project pipeline and intended to deploy up to €500m this year
Kingspan’s board will “consider” its shareholders’ concerns after almost a quarter voted against its remuneration policy and its chairman faced significant opposition.
The Cavan-based insulation-maker held its agm on Friday at which 23.2 per cent of shareholders opposed the company’s remuneration policy.
This came after advisory company Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) said it did not support Kingspan’s new policy which could allow incoming directors to receive a pension of up to 25 per cent of base salary.
Meanwhile, 21.7 million votes were cast against the re-election of chairman and founder Eugene Murtagh, representing about 16.3 per cent of shareholders.
Asked whether the company would consider the shareholder views, Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh said: “Yes, of course we’ll consider them...that’s not to say there’ll be any particular change, but we take them into account.”
The group’s agm came after its offer for Belgian company Recticel was rejected. “You can take it we’ve moved on,” Mr Murtagh said of the rejection.
He noted that the company had an agreement with Recticel on two occasions but when those fell through they “went for the less friendly approach”.
He said Kingspan has a healthy project pipeline and intended to deploy up to €500 million this year.
Before its agm on Friday, the company issued a trading update that reflected an 18 per cent increase in group sales to €1 billion during the first quarter.
The manufacturer said it experienced a “positive start to the year”, having recorded strong order books at the turn of the year.
Looking ahead, order intake across the group had been “generally encouraging” so far this year, and the overall order book was “ahead of where it was” at the same point last year, the group said.
“Whilst we anticipate reasonably positive momentum through the second quarter, enhanced by our growing geographic reach, we equally remain mindful of the unfavourable rhetoric around the direction of the global economy and any impact that may have on Kingspan.
“That said, our resolute focus on energy efficient technologies should keep the group well positioned over the longer haul.”
The UK, whilst delivering a good sales performance, experienced soft order intake during the quarter, and consequently the order bank reduced somewhat.
In mainland Europe both sales and order intake were positive, with the group’s extended presence in southern and eastern Europe both contributing well.
Following the conclusion of the agm, Helen Kirkpatrick retired as a non-executive director having served as chairwoman of the audit committee, chairwoman of the remuneration committee, and as a senior independent director.