At yesterday’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) AWB Limited’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr Andrew Lindberg, forecast a strong, after tax profit of between $100 - $110 million, for the year ending 30 September 2002.
“This forecast range is at the higher end of market analyst expectations and will represent year on year profit growth in the range of 20% to 30%,” said Mr Lindberg.
“Contributors to this forecast result include a significantly larger national wheat crop, continued strong earnings from our trading, financial and risk management areas, growth in our pool management and chartering businesses and a solid contribution from investments such as the Melbourne Port Terminal, Dimboola grain centre and off-shore activities.
“None of this of course would be possible without the continued support of our farmers, our customers and the talented and dedicated staff of AWB,” said Mr Lindberg.
Also A class shareholders re-elected three Directors, and B class shareholders re-elected one Director, to the Board of AWB Limited.
AWB Limited Western Australian A class shareholders today voted to re-elect Mr Christopher Moffet to the Board of AWB Limited and as Mr Trevor Flugge was not successful the Board of AWB met last night to elect a new Chairman. An announcement on the new Chairman will be made shortly.
“Mr Flugge has demonstrated sound leadership, proven performance and a detailed knowledge of the grains industry and these qualities will be missed by the industry,” said Mr Lindberg.
“However, AWB continues to look forward and build for the future and I believe we have a number of Directors on the Board who are capable of filling the role of Chairman for the future,” said Mr Lindberg.
New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory A class shareholders voted to re-elect Mr John Simpson and Victorian and Tasmanian A class shareholders voted to re-elect Mr Warrick McClelland to the Board of AWB Limited. In the national election of B class shareholders Ms Kerry Sanderson was re-elected to the Board of AWB Limited.
South Australian, Victorian, Tasmanian, Queensland and Northern Territory A class shareholders also re-elected Mr Clinton Starr to the Board of AWB (International) Limited.
“I would like to thank all the candidates who nominated for the Board and I am very satisfied that the Directors elected will serve their term in a constructive and professional manner, which will ultimately benefit Australian wheat growers and our shareholders,” said Mr Lindberg.
Shareholders also voted in favor of an increase in the non-executive Directors’ Remuneration and an A Class Shareholders Incentive Plan.
“The A Class Shareholders Incentive Plan will give new wheat growers the opportunity to participate in the growth and success of AWB Limited,” said Mr Lindberg.
Shareholders approved the resolution on the Employee Share Plan and Staff Ownership Plan, as well as the Performance Rights Plan and Equity Share Plan for senior executives.
Shareholders did not support the resolution concerning Rights and Shares for the Chief Executive. Given the total confidence the AWB Limited Board has in the company and its management, the Board will now consider alternative arrangements to reward the performance of its Chief Executive.
“The employee share and staff owner plans will have a positive impact on the company and will assist AWB in retaining and attracting the right people to ensure AWB continues to move forward and be successful,” said Mr Lindberg.
“Similarly, the performance rights plan and equity share plan for senior executives will help further align the interests of AWB management, with those of shareholders and Australian wheat growers,” said Mr Lindberg.