Observations from the Fairfax Media AGM

Observations from the Fairfax Media AGM, November 2nd, 2017 at the office of Domain, Pyrmont, NSW.

The Fairfax Media AGM was a revelation for a number of reasons.

The Board and Management have transformed a traditional publishing business into a dynamic, forward thinking and adaptive company.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly to spin off the powerhouse Domain division, which will list on the ASX on November 16 of this year. Fairfax will retain 60% ownership and existing shareholders will be allocated the remaining 40% on a ratio of 1 Domain share for every 10 Fairfax shares held.

CEO Mr. Greg Hywood noted that that company had worked hard to extract maximum value from its digital and print assets by driving innovation and cost efficiencies.

Shareholders were re-assured that the company is committed to its 7 day a week print products, as well as growing revenue from its digital assets, in both Australia and New Zealand.

To offset the global decline in print revenue, Domain delivered growth of 19% in digital revenue in what were challenging market conditions.

All resolutions put to shareholders were passed with overwhelming support.

The fact that shareholders chose to ask a very small number of questions indicated a high level of satisfaction with the performance of the board and management team.

The re-election of current board member Mr. Todd Sampson, and the election of new board member Ms. Mickie Rosen was further confirmation that the company is committed to offering long term growth prospects across all communication platforms.

Mr. Sampson’s achievement in climbing Mt. Everest is testament to his single-minded focus and resilience.

Disclosure; the author of this story, Lindsay Gulliver, attended the meeting in his capacity as a shareholder in Fairfax Media.