Harvey Norman has been hit by a shareholder first strike

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
  • Harvey Norman shareholders today delivered a first strike against the retail group.
  • At the AGM in Sydney, they voted 50.63% against the company’s remuneration report.
  • The Australian Shareholders Association had recommended the vote against the remuneration report.

Retail billionaire Gerry Harvey has suffered a first strike by shareholders against his Harvey Norman group.

At the AGM, shareholders voted 50.63% against the company’s remuneration report.

This means a first strike, a vote of more than 25% against. A second strike next year would mean an automatic spill of all board directors, including the chairman, Jerry Harvey.

The Australian Shareholders Association recommended the vote against the remuneration report on the lack of independent directors and investments including a dairy farm which collapsed earlier this year.

“This is a board stacked with members of the Harvey family, HVN executives and large HVN shareholders,” says the Australian Shareholders Association.

Earlier today Harvey Norman announced that Australian franchisee sales fell 1.3% between July 1 and November 23, a 0.2% drop on a comparable basis.

Wholly-owned company-operated stores, in Australia and overseas, reported sales of $2.88 billion, a 2.7% rise. Comparable store sales were up 3%.

Harvey Norman now joins several other major companies to be hit with a first strike this year.

In October, 62% of Telstra of shareholders voted against executive pay at the annual general meeting.

AMP’s remuneration report was rejected by 61.4% of shareholders in May this year, following revelations in the financial services royal commission.

Insurer QBE, which posted a full-year loss of $US1.25 billion ($1.6 billion), received a 45.57% vote against its remuneration report.

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