Investors Information

Corporate Governance

The information below was last updated on 15 January 2021.

Chairman’s Corporate Governance Statement

The information below was last updated on 17 December 2020.

Overview

The Board is committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance. The Board considers that the Group complies with the Quoted Companies Alliance Corporate Governance Code for small and mid-size quoted companies (“QCA code”) so far as it is practicable having regard to the size, nature and current stage of development of the Group. This report follows the structure of these guidelines and explains how we have applied the guidance. We will provide annual updates on our compliance with the QCA Code. The Board recognises that the Group does not fully comply with the 10 principles and general provisions of the QCA Code but the Board does use it as a benchmark in assessing its corporate governance standards. Areas of non-compliance are disclosed below and in the Corporate Governance Report in the Company’s latest Annual Report.

It is my responsibility as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Everyman Media Group PLC to ensure that the Group has both sound corporate governance and an effective Board. This is managed by ensuring that the Group and the Board are acting in the best interests of shareholders, and by making sure that the Board discharges its responsibilities appropriately. This includes creating the right Board dynamic and ensuring that all important matters, in particular strategic decisions, receive adequate time and attention at Board meetings.

Key governance matters which have arisen during the year include the departure of the company’s CEO, Crispin Lilly.. Within the past 12 months the Company has also further developed its risk and control, framework including through the development of the risk register.

While seeking to build a strong governance framework the Board is mindful of ensuring that the Company take a proportionate approach and that processes remain fit for purpose as well as embedded within the culture of the organisation. The Company continues to evolve its approach and make ongoing improvements as part of building a successful and sustainable company.

Good governance provides a framework that allows the right decisions to be taken by the right people at the right time. As the Company grows over the medium to long term, the Board is targeting full compliance with the QCA code.

Paul Wise, Chairman

The Board

The Board is primarily responsible for enhancing shareholder’s interests over the medium to long-term. It does this by:

  • setting the strategy and direction of the Company.
  • maintaining appropriate controls to ensure the effective operation of the Company.
  • approving revenue and capital budgets and plans.
  • approving financial statements, material agreements and new site projects.
  • determining the financial structure of the Company, including treasury.
  • overseeing control, audit and risk management.
  • setting and monitoring remuneration policies.

These matters are reserved for the Board.

Day-to-day management is devolved to the Executive Directors, who are charged with consulting the Board on all significant financial and operational matters. The Board meets at least ten times a year to review, formulate and approve the Company’s strategy, budgets, corporate actions and oversee the Company’s progress towards its goals. All directors are encouraged to challenge and to bring independent judgement to bear on all matters, both strategic and operational.

The Board retains ultimate accountability for governance and is responsible for monitoring the activities of the executive team. No one individual has unfettered powers of decision. The roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer are split in accordance with best practice.

It is important that the board itself contains the right mix of skills and experience in order to deliver the strategy of the Company. As such, the board is comprised of:

  • an executive chairman;
  • two executive directors,
  • two non-independent non-executive directors; and
  • one independent non-executive directors.

The Chairman of the Company is Paul Wise. The Chairman has the responsibility of ensuring that the Board discharges its responsibilities. The Chairman is an executive and works approximately 10 days a month. The Chairman has a key role in creating and planning the strategic direction of the Company and also has an active role in the branding of Everyman and the creative direction of the Company and its cinemas. The Chairman is not deemed independent.

The three Executive Directors, other than the Chairman, are comprised of a Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”). However, since Crispin Lilly stepped down as CEO, Paul Wise and Adam Kaye have assumed responsibility of the day to day leadership of the business until a suitable replacement is found. The Company recognises the long-term need for a permanent CEO to be appointed and has commenced a full search for a suitable replacement.

Mrs Elizabeth Lake is the CFO and Mr Adam Kaye is an Executive Director who supports the Company on identifying and negotiating new pipeline opportunities.

The Executive team has the overall responsibility for implementing and integrating the strategic direction of the Company. This includes responsibility for all components and departments of a business. The Executive team ensures that the organisation's leadership maintains constant awareness of both the external and internal competitive landscape, opportunities for expansion, customer base, markets, new industry developments and standards.

The CFO works alongside the Executive team and has overall control and responsibility for all financial aspects of Company strategy. The CFO takes overall responsibility of the Company’s accounting function and ensures that Company’s financial systems are robust, compliant and support current activities and future growth. The CFO will coordinate corporate finance and manage company policies regarding capital requirements, debt, taxation, equity and acquisitions as appropriate.

ONE Advisory Limited has been appointed as Everyman’s Company Secretary and assists the Company to ensure that Board procedures are followed and that the Company complies with all applicable rules, regulations and obligations governing its operation as an AIM-listed entity, including MAR. The Chairman is responsible for ensuring that the necessary information is supplied to the Directors on a timely basis to enable them to discharge their duties effectively. All Directors have access to the advice of the Company’s solicitors as well as access to independent professional advice, at the Company’s expense, as and when required.

The Non-Executives of the Company are Michael Rosehill, Charles Dorfman and Phillip Jacobson. Of the Non-Executive Directors, Michael Rosehill and Charles Dorfman are deemed non-independent due to the size of their shareholding in the Company. The Company considers Phillip Jacobson to be independent. Philip Jacobson has an interest in 116,336 Ordinary Shares and holds 100,000 options over Ordinary Shares which were granted to him as part of the Company’s admission to AIM. Neither Philip Jacobson nor the other Directors believe his shareholding or options are significant in assessing Philip Jacobson’s independence.

The QCA code recommends a balance between Executive and Non-Executive Directors and recommends that there be two Independent Non-Executives. The Board acknowledges that at this stage, it does not comply with this Principle and will take this into account when considering future appointments. Nevertheless, all Directors are encouraged to use their judgement and to challenge matters, whether strategic or operational, enabling the Board to discharge its duties and responsibilities effectively. Each of the Chairman and non-executive Directors have significant experience in building successful businesses and offer key skillsets to the Executive Directors that are beneficial to the Company as a whole.

The QCA Code specifies that the Board should evaluate Board performance based on clear and relevant objectives, seeking continuous improvement. The Board accepts that the Group does not fully comply with this aspect of the QCA code however considers that its effectiveness, and the individual performance of its Directors is vital to the success of the Group, as such, individual training needs of each Director are identified as part of the annual Board evaluation process and training provided as and when required.

Whilst the Company does not have a formal Board evaluation process, in the frequent Board meetings/calls, the Directors can discuss any areas where they feel a change would benefit the Company, and the Company Secretary remains on hand to provide impartial advice. Concerns can also be directed towards the Chairman, who seeks to act as a sound board for any concerns that Directors may have. The Board is in the process of developing and implementing an evaluation procedure with the aim of facilitating continuous improvement which will be disclosed in detail on the Group’s website once fully in force.

The Audit Committee

The Audit Committee has the primary responsibility of monitoring the quality of internal controls and ensuring that the financial performance of the Group is properly measured and reported on. It receives and reviews reports from the Group’s management and external auditors relating to the interim and annual accounts and the accounting and internal control systems in use throughout the Group. The Audit Committee meets no less than twice in each financial year and has unrestricted access to the Group’s external auditors. The Audit Committee is chaired by Philip Jacobson and also includes Michael Rosehill.

The Remuneration Committee

The Remuneration Committee is chaired by Philip Jacobson and also includes Charles Dorfman and Michael Rosehill. The Remuneration Committee reviews the performance of the executive directors and makes recommendations to the Board on matters relating to their remuneration and terms of service. The Remuneration Committee also makes recommendations to the Board on proposals for the granting of share options and other equity incentives pursuant to any employee share option scheme or equity incentive plans in operation from time to time. The Remuneration Committee meets as and when necessary.

Nomination Committee

The Nomination Committee is chaired by Philip Jacobson and includes Paul Wise and Charles Dorfman. The Nomination Committee considers the selection and re-appointment of Directors. It identifies and nominates candidates to fill Board vacancies and regularly reviews the structure, size and composition (including the skills, knowledge and experience) of the Board and makes recommendations to the Board with regard to any changes. The Nominations Committee also considers succession planning and makes recommendations to the Board as appropriate.

The attendance record of each relevant Director at Board and Committee meetings during the financial year is disclosed in the latest Annual Report.

Directors Assessment and Development

The Board is satisfied that each of the Directors is able to allocate sufficient time to the Company to discharge their responsibilities effectively.

On joining the Board, new members receive a comprehensive induction, involving meetings with senior employees and the external advisors. Individual training needs are addressed as required. All Directors receive regular updates on legal, regulatory and governance issues. In addition, there are regular ‘deep dives’ from across the business at Board level to ensure the Directors’ understanding of the operational aspects of the business are kept up to date. From time to time Board meetings are held away at operational sites away from the head office to further enhance the directors’ understanding of the business.

Re – election

The Company’s Articles of Association require directors to submit themselves for re-election by shareholders at least once every three years.

Internal Controls

The Group operates a system of internal financial controls commensurate with its current size and activities, which is designed to ensure that the possibility of misstatement or loss is kept to a minimum. There is a system in place for financial reporting and the Board receives regular reports to enable it to carry out these functions in the most efficient manner. These procedures include the preparation of management accounts, forecast variance analysis and other ad hoc reports. There are clearly defined authority limits throughout the Group, including those matters which are reserved specifically for the Board.

The Board has responsibility for the effectiveness of the internal financial control framework. Such a system can only provide reasonable and not absolute assurance against material misstatement. The Group does not currently have, nor considers there is currently a need for, an internal audit function. As the number of sites operated by the Group increases the Board intends to regularly assess the ongoing need for strengthening internal financial controls.

The Board’s financial risk management, objectives and policies together with the Board’s policies in respect of price risk, credit risk, liquidity risk and cash flow risk are set out in the notes to the financial statements.

Risk Management

The Board considers risk assessment to be important in achieving its strategic objectives. There is a process of evaluation of performance targets through regular reviews by Senior Management to forecasts. Project milestones and timelines are reviewed regularly. Further to this, a risk register is in place which the Board reviews and updates on an ad-hoc basis during meetings.

Business Risk

The Board regularly evaluates and reviews any business risk. The identified risks currently considered relevant by the Board include:

  • The Group’s revenues are dependent on admissions: both box office and food and beverage revenues are linked to this. As a result, the Group’s financial position is largely reliant on the continued popularity and the overall quantity and quality of the films (and other content) which it shows. The Board believes that the Group’s strategy mitigates this risk somewhat as customers are more willing to try smaller, more diverse films that may not get the same exposure either in above-the-line advertising spend or through wider platform releases by the industry.
  • The Group’s ability to license films on acceptable terms is also largely dependent on its relationships with film distributors and remains a core risk to the costs of the business. This risk is managed through healthy partnership-based relations with distributors of all sizes as well as careful week-to-week negotiation on specific titles.
  • The proliferation of alternative media channels, including streaming, has introduced new competitive forces for the film-going audience. To date this has proven to be a more virtuous relationship, both increasing the investment in film production and further fuelling an overall interest in film with customers of all ages. It remains an ever-present caution however, that the Company must continue to deliver an exceptional experience in order to deliver real added value for our customers who choose to see a film at an Everyman venue.
  • Film piracy (aided by technological advances) continues to be a real threat to the cinema industry generally, although for Everyman specifically, as with the previous point, this is mitigated through a focus on the overall experience and higher levels of staffing.
  • The level of the Group’s box office sales, and hence the Group’s revenues, fluctuate throughout the course of any given year and are largely dependent on the timing of release of films, over which the Group has no control. As a result, the Group’s revenues may vary significantly from month to month within any given financial year. The Board mitigates this risk by reviewing changes in the release schedule and through the development and promotion of special events at certain times of the year.
  • The Group’s business could suffer because of extreme or unseasonal weather conditions or other exceptional events, as well as the general economic outlook within the United Kingdom. Cinema admissions are affected by periods of abnormal, severe or unseasonal weather conditions, such as exceptionally hot weather or heavy snowfall. In addition, cinema admissions may occasionally be impacted by large sporting or other major events.
  • Retail sales of food and drink form an important part of the revenues of the Group. The Group’s retail sales generally fluctuate in line with admissions. The cinemas also sell freshly prepared food and drink items where stringent operational procedures exist to ensure compliance with all necessary regulations.
  • The Group also earns revenue from advertising which may fluctuate due to broader macro-economic factors. Revenue earned from advertising is also influenced by the level of admissions and the size of the Group’s portfolio of properties and as such, may decrease in line with any reduction of admissions.
  • The Group’s operating costs include rent and energy costs. These costs may be volatile, for example due to increased market fluctuations in the price of property rentals, gas and electricity. The Board mitigates this risk by regularly assessing alternative energy suppliers and rental costs when open market rent reviews are due on each property.
  • Where the Group has an existing cinema it could be subject to competition from the introduction of new and/or upgraded cinemas operated by other chains.
  • The Group is reliant on certain key contracts and arrangements with partners and suppliers. The loss of some of these arrangements may cause temporary disruption to the operations and financial performance of the Group. The Board mitigates this risk by maintaining relationships with a number of alternative suppliers as well as appropriate review of these contracts.
  • The strong positive reputation of the Everyman brand is a key benefit, helping to ensure the successful future performance and growth which also serves to mitigate many of the risks identified above.
  • Whilst the full business implications of Brexit remain uncertain, and will do for some time, the Board believes the Group to be well positioned to react to the potential challenges and opportunities ahead. The Group has no exchange rate exposure, and is only indirectly impacted by the fall in sterling due to cost pressure on some food and beverage purchases. Such pressures are small and for the most part offset by increased buying power due to our rapid expansion. The cinema industry is historically resilient to recessionary pressures, however the Board is continuing to monitor the situation closely. The Group has secured financing to allow it to fully fund its next phase of expansion.

Insurance

The Group maintains insurance in respect of its Directors and Officers against liabilities in relation to the Company. The Group takes out suitable insurance against property and operational risks where considered material to the anticipated revenue of the Group.

Corporate Culture

The Company supports ethical values and behaviours across the Group and, as such, has adopted the following policies: Whistleblowing, Anti-bullying, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Bribery. For further information, please see the Relations with Shareholders and Stakeholders section below.

Securities Trading

The Board has adopted a Share Dealing Code in accordance with the AIM Rules and the Market Abuse Regulation (“MAR”). It applies to, inter alia, Directors, senior management, the finance team and the Company Secretary.

Relations with Shareholders and Stakeholders

The Board recognises that it is accountable to shareholders for the performance and activities of the Company and to this end is committed to providing effective communication with the shareholders of the Company. The Company has identified key resources and relationships on which it relies and is in constant contact with its suppliers and other stakeholders and seeks to maintain good relationships.

The Board also recognises that as an operator of cinemas within local communities, it has responsibility to engage openly, transparently and effectively with community stakeholders, local planning and government agencies.

A large part of the Group’s activities are centred on an open and respectful dialogue with employees, customers and other stakeholders. Therefore, the importance of sound ethical values and behaviours is crucial to the ability of the Group to successfully achieve its corporate objectives. The Board places great importance on this aspect of corporate life and seeks to ensure that this flows through all that the Group does. The Directors consider that the Group has an open culture facilitating comprehensive dialogue and feedback that enables positive and constructive challenge

The Group places considerable emphasis on maintaining good relations with its employees. The Group places great importance on managers at each venue being well trained and capable of recruiting, training and developing a strong team and it equips them with the necessary tools in order to provide a positive working atmosphere. The Group regularly communicates important updates with employees and seeks engagement and consultation whenever making decisions that affect them or their interests. Employees are provided with regular on-the-job training and career development opportunities and the Group places a significant importance on developing from within.

The Group is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to the employment of people with disabilities and guarantees an interview for those who meet the minimum selection criteria. The Group provides training and development for people with disabilities tailored, where appropriate, to ensure they have the opportunity to achieve their potential. If a Group employee becomes disabled while in our employment the Group will do its best to retain them, including consulting with them about their requirements, making reasonable and appropriate adjustments and providing alternative suitable employment where possible.

Material developments within the Company are disseminated through stock exchange regulatory news service (“RNS”) announcements and regular updates of the Company website where details of the Company’s cinema estate are updated regularly. The Executive Directors are the primary liaison for shareholders. The Company also presents to its institutional shareholders following the full year and interim results. The main purpose of such meetings is to enhance investors’ understanding of the Company’s strategy and how that strategy is being implemented, as well as to hear views and expectations from shareholders. The views of the shareholders expressed during these meetings are reported to the Board, ensuring that all members of the Board are fully aware of the thoughts and opinions of major shareholders.

The Board views the Annual General Meeting (AGM) as an important forum for communication between the Company and its shareholders and encourages shareholders to express their views on the Company’s business activities and performance. The Company will continue to publish the voting results of General Meetings on its website.

All Directors attend the AGM, where private investors are given the opportunity to question the Board. All 2020 AGM resolutions were passed comfortably. Although shareholder attendance was restricted at the 2020 AGM due to Covid-19, shareholders were given the opportunity to submit questions to the Board via email so that engagement between the Board and its stakeholders was not impeded by the ongoing outbreak and subsequent changes to AGM arrangements. Shareholders were encouraged to appoint a proxy to enable them to exercise their voting rights.

Where a significant proportion of votes have been cast against a resolution, the Board may at its complete discretion provide an explanation of what action it intends to take, if any, to understand the reasons behind the vote result and where appropriate, any different action it has taken, or will take, as a result of the vote.

Click here to download the proxy votes for the Annual General Meeting
held on 9 May 2019

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