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The Charter Hall Group 2015 Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 at 2:30pm (AEDT) at Charter Hall Offices, Level 20, No.1 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000.
Chair’s Address and Presentation
"Good afternoon. On behalf of the Board of Directors it is my pleasure to welcome you all to the 2015 Annual General Meeting of Charter Hall Group.
My name is David Clarke and I am the Chair of the Charter Hall Group Board of Directors.
Could I request that you now take a moment to ensure that your mobile phones are switched to silent for the duration of this meeting.
It is now 2:30pm, and as the necessary quorum is present, I declare this meeting properly constituted and open.
This afternoon, I will provide a brief overview of our business and achievements during FY15.
Our Joint Managing Directors, David Harrison and David Southon, will then provide an update on our business and key results as well as provide an outlook for financial year 2016.
We will then move to the formal business of the meeting and the resolutions for your consideration.
Securityholders holding a yellow or red attendance card will have the opportunity to ask questions as we address each item of business listed in the Notice of Meeting. Visitors with blue attendance cards are not permitted to ask questions during this meeting.
At the conclusion of the meeting we look forward to joining you for refreshments outside the Boardroom.
Today’s meeting is being recorded and will be shown as a delayed webcast on our website.
Board of Directors
I would now like to introduce my fellow Board members:
Also present today and I welcome:
I will now provide a short overview of our business and focus during FY15.
Our vision, purpose and goal
This year marks Charter Hall’s 10 year anniversary since listing on the Australian Securities Exchange, a period which has seen us evolve into a leading ASX 200 listed property investment and management business.
Our proven strategy remains focused on utilising our property expertise to access, deploy, manage and invest equity in our core real estate sectors to create value and generate superior returns for our customers.
Today we manage a $14.8 billion high quality portfolio of office, retail, industrial and hospitality assets servicing close to 3,000 tenants on behalf of wholesale, listed and retail investors with the goal of becoming Australia’s most highly regarded property investment and funds management business.
Solid total securityholder returns
I am pleased to report the Group delivered solid growth across our platform during the 2015 financial year. As a result, we were able to deliver a total securityholder return for the 12 months to 30 June 2015 of 11.8% and over the 12 months to 30 September Charter Hall’s total securityholder return was 10.4%.
Charter Hall ranks as one of the best performing A-REITs in the ASX 200 Property Accumulation Index over the last three and five years, also outperforming the IPD Property Index in the same time period.
We remain in a strong position to continue manage and invest capital into high quality Australian commercial property. Our Joint Managing Directors will provide further commentary in their operational updates shortly.
Solid earnings and distribution growth
In FY15, Charter Hall reported operating earnings of $98.8 million, up 21.7% on the prior year, with an 11.8% compound annual growth rate in OEPS over the past five years. The Board was also pleased to make a full year distribution of
24.2 cents per security, up 8.5% on the prior corresponding year representing a 14.0% compound annual growth rate in distributions over the past five years.
Investing in our business and our people
As we’ve previously highlighted, we have been actively investing in our business and people. A key focus has been providing a healthy, collaborative environment for our people and we were pleased to open our new Sydney office early last year and currently have a number of centre and regional office refurbishments underway. These environments and the accompanying technology and way of working, is something that I am proud to say has had a positive impact on our people, and upon our business.
We remain focused on investing in new tools and technology to allow our people to excel and deliver smart solutions for our customers and this year we launched a new talent and development platform for our people. This has been rolled out and is focused on building our peoples’ capabilities and ultimately supporting Charter Hall in delivering success for our customers.
One area that I would like to highlight is our focus on diversity which is an important element of the future success of our business. We are pleased to have seen an increase in female representation across the business with women making up 50.3% of our total workforce, 18% of the senior management team and, 14% of the Board.
We see diversity as an opportunity for the Group and the industry and are actively working to address this matter with David Southon representing our business as a Property Male Champion of Change.
We look forward to celebrating the individual and Group success that this investment will deliver to our people and business.
Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
Charter Hall is always looking for new ways to deliver value to its stakeholders that integrate sustainability opportunities with our overall strategy and operations.
The review of our Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability strategy during 2014 led to an alignment of our sustainability objectives and commitments to the four pillars of our business strategy - Product, Performance, People and Partner. We have started to embed this approach in the business during the year and, as our sustainability reporting and disclosure matures, we are pleased to be able to further illustrate the benefits of our sustainability commitment to our stakeholders.
Committed to Corporate Governance
Charter Hall has committed itself to maintaining the highest possible standards of corporate governance as the manager of substantial capital on behalf of others, by maintaining a material co-investment alongside our investors.
Charter Hall has always understood the importance of maintaining a strong alignment of its interests with those of its equity investors. Over the years, Charter Hall’s level of co-investment has been consistently maintained in the region of 10% of the aggregate equity invested in Charter Hall managed funds.
We also understand the importance of identification and effective management of the inherent conflicts of interest that arise between its own interests as an asset manager and those of its investors.
Our internal processes reflect these understandings. This includes the roles played by the Independent Directors and Committee members appointed to our various Boards and our Investment Committees. Each provides the necessary focus on governance and discipline in the allocation of capital and when making key acquisition and disposal decisions.
I would like to acknowledge those directors and committee members for the very important work they do.
Its now may pleasure to introduce the Joint Managing Directors, David Southon and David Harrison for their operational updates.
Close of Meeting
In closing today’s meeting I would like to acknowledge the loyalty that our investor partners, securityholders and tenant customers have shown us, allowing the business to grow.
We believe financial year 2016 will be another very active year for the Group. We will continue to harness our peoples’ collective skills and experience, to focus on our core property sectors to deliver high quality accommodation and experiences for our tenant customers, to achieve solid long term performance for our capital partners and for the Charter Hall Group security holders".