During the year the company has continued to have dialogue with institutional shareholders. It also encouraged all shareholders to attend the AGM, at which free samples of the company’s leading beer brands were on offer to all attending shareholders after the meeting. Beyond this the company paid considerable care and attention to ensuring that the AGM was once again an informative, productive and positive experience for all involved. The company considers the AGM key in providing shareholders with the opportunity to ask questions of the board and chairmen of all the board committees. Prior to the meeting all proxy votes were counted and displayed on screen after the voting process. The results were communicated directly to the top 20 shareholders after the meeting and published on the Regulatory News Service and the company’s website.
Alongside the facilities offered by the company secretary's department, the company maintains a dedicated investor relations function. Reporting to the director of corporate affairs, the investor relations team builds and maintains long-term relationships with institutional investors and analysts on the basis of fundamental business value driver analysis. Extensive one-on-one contact as well as small group events are the cornerstones of this activity. In partnership with our corporate and divisional management teams, investor relations gives presentations on regional business outlooks and strives to propagate understanding thereof across the global equity markets in subsequent one-on-one meetings with investors. Occasional business site visits are also arranged. Dialogue on socially responsible investment (SRI) is handled by the corporate accountability manager, in the corporate affairs department, who undertakes focused briefings with interested investors and stakeholders.
In addition to scheduled management-led programmes in which executives interact with shareholders, the chairman has, independently, initiated formal contact with all shareholders (or their representatives) holding in excess of 1% of the issued share capital of the company. The purpose of this contact is to enable the chairman to address any queries shareholders may have regarding the governance of the company or non-operational aspects of company strategy. It is also, more broadly, designed to give the board a greater awareness of shareholder concerns. Alongside the chairman the senior independent director will also be available to communicate with shareholders and views expressed will be communicated by the chairman to the board. All non-executive directors of the company have been invited to participate in this process.
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