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Hammerson executives turn backs on increases

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published Mar 26, 2020

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DURBAN - Hammerson plc said yesterday that its executives and directors have decided to forgo their salary and fee increases for the year 2020 on prevailing market conditions.

The decision comes after the group's remuneration committee in February proposed a 2percent hike in base salary, approximately, for executive directors and other senior executives, as well a 2.5percent increase in salaries across its operations.

Hammerson said that factors influencing the increases included a low inflationary environment and the continued focus on cost control.

The hikes were going to take effect from the beginning of next month.

“The executive and non-executive directors have asked that their salary and fee increases, set out in the directors remuneration report and due to take effect on April 1, be cancelled,” the group said.

Hammerson, one of UK’s biggest shopping centre owners, also reported total disposals of £975 million (R20.06billion) in the year to end December and generated £542m generated during the year, ahead of the £500m target. The group said it also managed to reduce its debt to £2.4bn, down from £3.4bn a year earlier.

It said it would hold its annual general meeting (AGM) electronically next month in light of the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19). The group said it would change the principal place of the AGM from the company’s registered office to an electronic platform that would enable shareholders to attend and participate virtually.

“The company will provide full details for the electronic AGM in due course,” the group said.

Hammerson said the AGM would seek shareholder approval to introduce the restricted share scheme and has indicated that the initial grant would be over shares worth, at the time of grant, 75 percent of salary.

“Given the fall in share price since the proposed remuneration policy was developed by the remuneration committee, the committee plans to decide on the timing and number of the shares to be granted in due course. Its objective will be to ensure that the restricted share scheme and policy operate as intended, and the grant is subject to the 75percent cap,” the group said.

Hammerson's share price declined by 60 percent last month on the JSE. It was trading at R44.85 a share on February 25.

The group has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and a secondary inward listing on the JSE.

Hammerson rose 1.63percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R17.49.

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