With exceptions as highlighted below, the Company complied with the provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code issued by the Financial Reporting Council in September 2014.
The Board acknowledges Malcolm Diamond is a non-independent Executive Chairman which does not comply with the requirements of section A.3.1 of the Corporate Governance Code. However, the Board believes that, given Mr Diamond sits as Chairman and is a non-executive in other companies, his experience from these appointments and his previous knowledge of Trifast is invaluable and can best be delivered through the position of Chairman.
The Company has applied the principles set out in the Code, including both the main principles and the supporting principles, by complying with the Code as reported above. Further explanation of how the principles and supporting principles have been applied is set out below (including in the Audit Committee and Nominations Committee reports) and in the Directors' remuneration report.
The structure of the Board and its standing committees is as follows:
Currently the Board consists of four Executive Directors, three Independent Non-Executive Directors and a Chairman. The Non-Executive Directors are considered to be independent of management and free from any business or other relationship which could interfere with the exercise of their independent judgement for the purposes of the Code. The Chairman, who is an Executive Chairman, is not considered by the Board to be independent.
The appointment, replacement and powers of the Directors are governed by the Company's Articles of Association, the Corporate Governance Code, the Companies Act, prevailing legislation and resolutions passed at the Annual General Meeting ('AGM') or other general meetings of the Company.
The Senior Independent Non-Executive Director is Neil Warner (appointed 16 June 2015), who was chosen due to his executive board experience with other companies.
All Independent Non-Executive Directors have the authority to meet with shareholders without first seeking approval from the Chief Executive or the Chairman.
Upon appointment the Directors are required to seek election at the first AGM following appointment. All Directors are required to submit themselves for re-election at regular intervals and a minimum of one third of Directors must be re-elected on an annual basis.
The Board met 7 times during the period with attendance as follows:
|JC Barker — retired 30 September 2015|
|CL Foster* — appointed 1 October 2015|
|NS Chapman — retired 16 June 2015|
|NW Warner — appointed 16 June 2015|
|SW Mac Meekin|
* CL Foster attended all seven Board meetings in FY2016 as Company Secretary.
The Directors retiring by rotation are Mark Belton, Geoff Budd and Glenda Roberts who, being eligible, offer themselves for re-election at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting. In addition, following her appointment to the Board, Clare Foster, who being eligible, offers herself for election at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting. The Chairman confirms that following formal performance evaluation, the individuals seeking election and re-election continue to be effective and demonstrate commitment to the role.
The Company has separate posts of Chairman and Chief Executive. The Chairman leads the Board and the Chief Executive is responsible for the management of the Company, implementing policies and strategies determined by the Board.
The contracts of appointment of Non-Executive Directors are available for inspection on request to the Company Secretary.
The Independent Non-Executive Directors have full access to the external auditor and to management and there is a formal procedure for Directors to obtain independent professional advice in the furtherance of their duties should this be necessary. All Directors have access to the advice and services of the Company Secretary.
Appropriate and relevant training is provided to the Directors as and when required.
The Board meets a minimum of five times a year and is supplied as early as practical with an agenda and appropriate papers. Directors are appointed by the Board on recommendation from the Nominations Committee. The Board monitors the financial performance of the Group, and approves and reviews major projects and acquisitions. The Board has formally adopted a schedule of matters which are reserved to the Board for decision, thus ensuring that it maintains control over appropriate strategic, financial, organisation and compliance issues to ensure the long term success of the Company.
The Board undertakes annual evaluation of its own performance, that of its committees and individual Directors and continues to train and evaluate senior managers below Board level in order to maintain its continuous succession policy. As part of this evaluation, the Board considers the balance of skills, experience, the independence and knowledge of the Board, its diversity, including gender, and how effectively the Board works together as a unit.
The Board has delegated specific responsibilities to the Audit, Nominations and Remuneration Committees.
As detailed in the Audit Committee report, the Board, via the Audit Committee, formally considers the requirement for internal audit on an annual basis as part of its terms of reference. A formalised internal review process called a 'Health Check' has been in operation for some years. Whilst the Board recognises that this process does not constitute a fully independent internal audit function, it believes that due to the size of the Group, this provides appropriate comfort as to the operational and financial controls in place.
The Group has a website, www.trifast.com, which is regularly updated to ensure that shareholders and other providers of capital are fully aware of the Group's activities. The Group's Registrar, Computershare, is linked to the Trifast website and offers services for shareholders.
The Group also works with City specialists to ensure all levels of shareholders receive Trifast information.
During the year being reported upon we engaged with:
Peel Hunt LLP — Stockbroker to the Company, Institutional Fund Managers
TooleyStreet Communications — Investor Relations Analysts, Private Client Brokers and Media
Edison Investment Research — Investment Research, available on the Trifast website
The members of the Audit, Remuneration and Nominations Committees will be available to speak to shareholders at the AGM in order that they understand the views of the shareholders. In addition, shareholders can contact them at any time by writing to Trifast plc, Trifast House, Bellbrook Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 1QW.
After making enquiries, the Directors have reasonable expectations that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. Further information is given in the Basis of Preparation, note 1. For this reason, they continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements.
By order of the Board