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Annual General Meeting 2020

Our AGM was held on Friday 14 August 2020 at 10.00am. Given the unprecedented circumstances resulting from COVID-19, the Board put in place contingency arrangements which meant that only the statutory formal business (consisting of voting on the resolutions proposed in the Notice of AGM) required to meet the minimum legal requirements, were conducted at the AGM. 

Shareholders were not able to attend the meeting in person. Instead, they were asked to submit votes, and any questions that we would like to have raised at the AGM, by email in advance of the presentation.

Documents relating to the AGM, and the Company's responses to shareholder questions raised in advance of the meeting, can be found below. 

Questions asked by shareholders in advance of the AGM

Are you able to update us on slide 6 [of the Full Year Results presentation] which showed that 75% of rent due from 25 March to 1 June had been received or moved to an alternative payment?

In this morning’s trading update we have provided an update on rent collection for the first quarter of the financial year, which we reported on in our Full Year Results. Of rent demanded, 84% has either been collected or had alternative payment terms agreed, an improvement from the 75% figure we provided in our Full Year Results on 18 June 2020. We continue to engage with occupiers which have not paid rent, to recover late payments or agree alternative payment terms.

2. Can you provide progress on the position in respect of the 25 June quarter day?  If not, when will you be providing an update?

We confirmed in this morning’s
trading update that, for rent demanded in respect of the second quarter so far, 80% has either been collected or had alternative payment terms agreed.

3. I noted the insurance claim you were planning to make for business interruption. Was that included in the last financial year’s results?  Has the insurance company paid out yet?

We have previously stated that we are working with our insurance brokers and insurers to make a claim for the business disruption caused by COVID-19 and for loss of rent. This claim has been made in relation to rent not paid in our pub portfolio, and our insurers are yet to decide on whether to pay our claim. We intend to keep the market informed of any progress made with our insurance claim. 

4. I was curious as to what sort of organisations would be buying your assets at present?

We have a target to dispose of £80 million to £100 million of assets in our current financial year, and we have confirmed in this morning’s trading update that we now have £52.5 million of disposals either completed, exchanged or under offer. The low average lot size and location of our assets make them attractive to a wide range of buyers, which provides significant liquidity. In the last 18 months we have sold to a wide range of buyers including individuals, private investors, listed companies and Local Authorities.  

In the eventuality of an equity raise becoming necessary, would the Board please progress this through a “placing and open offer” to allow retail shareholders to participate?

The Company has no plans at present to raise equity, although your request will be given due consideration by the Board in the event that an equity raise is planned.

For details of previous AGMs, please click here.