Whitehaven Coal (WHC) 2015 AGM Report

Company/ASX Code : Whitehaven Coal Limited (WHC)
Venue :
10am The Mint
10 Macquarie St
Sydney, New South Wales
Monitor : Mr Geoffrey Orrock
AGM Details / NoM : Friday 30th October, 2015
# of Attendees : 20 shareholders and 25 visitors
# Holdings represented by ASA : 15
Value of Proxies : $265,000
# Shares Represented by ASA : 260,000
Market Capitalisation : $1.05 billion

Not an activist in sight as IEA Report says coal’s future in SE Asia is assured for decades 

If attendance is any guide both shareholders and activists are happy with Whitehaven’s performance as neither turned up to Friday’s AGM, in contrast to the two previous years.

The meeting opened with a Welcome to Country by Cadigal Elder Uncle Allen Madden.

The Chairman told the meeting that 2015 had been a year of strong progress and achievement, the company had delivered significant operational and financial results, and was now well placed on its journey towards becoming one of Australia’s largest and lowest cost producers of high quality coal. He said with Maules Creek ramping up over the next three years to 12mtpa and Narrabri becoming one of the most productive and efficient underground longwall mines in Australia Whitehaven was well on its way to the long standing production target of 23mtpa by 2018. Significantly the company reported a second half profit, before any contribution from Maules Creek.

The Chairman also remarked that Whitehaven was grateful for the role local communities have played in Whitehaven’s success with the majority of the company’s expanding workforce living in the local communities. He said the company had increased its spend with local businesses and in the past three years had put almost $600 million into the area.

Commenting on prospects for the future he said it was increasingly obvious from discussions with Asian customers that the global shift to cleaner more efficient coal is underway and is irreversible.  The company said the IEA South East Asia Energy Outlook 2015 showed coal demand would more than triple in the period to 2040 and by then would be providing 30% of the energy mix. He said SE Asian governments were demanding higher energy, higher quality cleaner coal for the new technologies, and Whitehaven’s coal was particularly suitable.

ASA commended the company and its workforce for another year of impressive outcomes. We told the company we were strong supporters of Board diversity and applauded the appointment of Dr Julie Beeby.

Deputy Chairman John Conde AO and ex MD Tony Haggarty were both re-elected, Mr Haggarty as a non-independent NED.

We commented that almost all directors had an electronic voting device, and noted that ASA was pleased that directors had considerable “skin in the game”.

All resolutions were passed on a poll with more than 95% support.

ASA voted in accordance with our published voting intentions.