Vodka maker Stock Spirits got a slap on the wrist today after over 25 per cent shareholders voted against the London-listed firm's directors' remuneration report.
Over 30 per cent shareholders voted against the re-election of its non-executive chairman David Maloney while 20.3 per cent voted against Stock Spirits' directors' remuneration policy.
Performance has been "satisfactory this year", Stock Spirits said in a trading update for the period from 1 January to 23 May also released today.
The drinks giant, which sells spirits in central and eastern Europe, said the Polish vodka market experienced a decline in both value (minus one per cent) and volume (minus 1.5 per cent) versus the first quarter last year. Stock Spirits blamed the fall "in part by the timing of Easter being later in the calendar this year".
The distiller was slammed by Western Gate, a 9.7 per cent shareholder in Stock Spirits, over the company's performance. Western Gate is the investment vehicle of Portuguese billionaire Luis Amaral and his family.
Amaral said: “There is no evidence of any turnaround at Stock Spirits.
Although its Polish market share has stabilised at 25 per cent after collapsing from nearly 40 per cent, costs remain stubbornly high and there is no evidence of any growth - nor has the company explained to its shareholders what the strategy is to deliver growth. It is not surprising to me that 30 per cent voted against the chairman.
Stock Spirits said it continues to support Maloney and will discuss any concerns shareholders might have.
In a statement, the company said: "All resolutions were approved by shareholders at the Stock Spirits annual general meeting. There were no questions asked at the meeting. Stock Spirits is in regular dialogue with shareholders and will discuss any concerns that they have. David Maloney continues to enjoy the full support of the board of Stock Spirits."