Andrew Wilkinson has announced his resignation as ALE Property CEO.
ALE is Australia’s biggest owner of freehold pubs and leases 86 freehold pubs to Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH), a joint venture between Woolworths and Bruce Mathieson.
During his 16-year tenure Wilkinson oversaw a growth in ALE’s market capitalisation from $91 million to more than $1 billion, delivering a total return of around 20% per annum.
The Chairman of ALE, Robert Mactier, said: “After a long and successful leadership of ALE, Andrew has indicated his desire to pursue new challenges.
“On behalf of the Board I wish to thank Andrew for his significant and consistent contribution to the Group since 2003.
“We will work with Mr Wilkinson to confirm the optimal timing of his departure and to ensure a smooth and orderly transition process to a new CEO, to lead ALE in its next phase of growth. ALE will commence a CEO search process in the coming weeks.”
Profit dip for ALE
The news comes as ALE revealed its profits were down 2.4% to $28.3 million in the year ending June 30 due to higher management expenses and land taxes in Queensland.
ALE made $60.2 million in revenue on leases, up from 3.6% from last year.
Wilkinson will remain as ALE Property CEO until the completion of the current market rent review of the pubs in ALE’s $1.16 billion portfolio, which is due to be completed by the end of the year.
The company’s annual results included a 4.5% increase in passing net rent to $59.2 million, which was driven by a 10% increase for 36 properties.
The results noted that rents may increase or decrease by up to 10% for remaining 43 determinations. In the worst case it would be $58.5million (no change) and in the best case $63.7 million (+8.9%).
Despite making a distributable profit of 14.45 cents per share, ALE said it would pay a dividend of 20.9 cents, funding the difference out of capital and cash reserves.