Fairfax Media’s AGM

Staff Writer

Fairfax Media Chairman Roger Corbett and CEO Greg Hywood have addressed the company's AGM.

Here are some key parts from both speeches plus links to read both in full….


Roger Corbett

"I am sure that as you came to the meeting this morning, you were immensely disappointed with the Fairfax Media share price, and also that your Directors had to record a $2.7b writedown in the value of the company's intangible assets at the end of the financial year."

"2012 turned out to be a particularly difficult year for Fairfax, as it was for the media sector in Australia and worldwide."

"We considered whether value could be generated by breaking up Fairfax Media through a series of asset sales, a demerger of the Metro Media business into a separately listed entity, or continuing to operate an integrated media business. Following detailed analysis, the break-up and demerger options were ruled out."

"The review found that maintaining an integrated multi-platform strategy would deliver the best returns for shareholders."

"With the strategic review completed, the Board remains focused on stabilising earnings, the transformation of the business to reflect structural change, and positioning Fairfax for future growth."

"However, let there be no doubt, we will continue to examine all alternatives to optimise shareholder value, and we rule nothing out. We remain opportunistic and flexible with respect to value-enhancing transactions.’’

On the remuneration report for 2012….

"…proxies received prior to the meeting, 81% of votes cast support the remuneration report. However, your Directors are conscious of constructive suggestions that have been made for the future. These will be considered when developing our salary and incentive structures for future years."

Read Fairfax Chairman Roger Corbett's speech in full here

Greg Hywood

"Let's not kid ourselves. There are challenges ahead."

"….we have a clear strategy to negotiate our way through this perfect storm of cyclical weakness and structural change. And we are implementing it decisively."

"We look at the breadth of our business through metropolitan and regional and agricultural centres – across print, online, radio and digital transactions – and we are positioned well."

"We are taking $235 million in structural costs out of the business. Tough decisions include reducing headcount by nearly 2,000 people, almost 20% of our staff."

"We are re-making Fairfax Media into a genuine 21st century multi-platform media company with a firm eye on a prosperous future."

"After a disappointing FY12, our Radio business is turning around under the leadership of Adam Lang who was appointed as CEO effective March 2012. Performance of all stations has a foundation for recovery. 3AW remains #1 in Melbourne, while 96FM is strongly positioned in Perth."

Read Greg Hywood, Fairfax CEO's speech, in full here


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