Metlifecare directors don't deserve another $200,000: shareholder
Metlifecare directors do not deserve an extra $200,000, pharmacist and Waitemata district health board member Warren Flaunty says.
At today's annual meeting of the retirement village operator, held in Auckland, it was proposed to increase the directors' fees pool from $300,000 to $500,000.
The last rise was in 2004 and chairman Peter Brown says the increase reflects the addition of two independent directors and allows payments to directors associated with 43% shareholder Retirement Villages Group.
But Mr Flaunty told the directors they should prove themselves first.
"For three years I've come to meetings and each year the dividend is deferred."
Unlike all other votes at the meeting, decided by a show of hands, the proposal to increase directors' fees went to a poll and will be announced on the NZX.
Metlifecare, one of the country's biggest retirement village operators, posted a $141.7 million loss, or $1.04 a share, for the year ended June 30.
At the time it said a dividend would be considered at today's meeting.
Today, Mr Brown told the meeting will be revisited at the end of the year, although he says the company is bent on reducing its $193 million bank debt.
"I'll believe it when I see it," says Mr Flaunty, who was Metlifecare's seventh-largest shareholder before its merger with major shareholders Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care.
Ceo and managing director Alan Edwards says there has been "strong uplift" in unit sales in 2012, without providing figures.
He says post-merger cost savings has led to "immediate and significant benefits" for operating cashflow.
Further cost savings can be achieved, he says, and post-merger bank debt of $193 million will be reduced following the recent sale of a village in Nelson.
Metlifecare runs 24 retirement villages, including nine with care facilities, with 5000 residents cared for by 1200 staff.
Metlifecare shares (NZX: MET) are down almost 1% today to $3.17, after starting the year at $2.27.