On behalf of my fellow Board members I am pleased to present our Annual Financial Report for 2021.
The Group has remained focused on Our Purpose throughout another COVID-19 interrupted year. I want to thank our team for delivering better results this year even with more COVID-19 restrictions than 2020. This demonstrates our proactive approach to generating long-term value for our securityholders.
The past year has reinforced how essential our Westfield Living Centres are to people and communities. I am very proud of our team, particularly how they kept adapting to the conditions, keeping our centres open and safe.
We are committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where diversity of perspectives and “speaking up” is highly valued. During the year, the Group measured our employee engagement, which has remained very high at 85%. This places us in the top 5% of companies globally. It was encouraging to receive these results given the operating environment and competitive labour market.
We have continued to increase female representation at all levels of the organisation and are well positioned to achieve our goal of 40:40:20 across the Group’s workplace by 2025.
We have maintained our momentum on our approach to responsible business. The Board maintains oversight of our climate risk and resilience strategy. Our Responsible Business Report and Modern Slavery Statement will be released in March 2022, providing more detail on our approach and progress.
The Board was concerned to have received last year’s vote against our 2020 Remuneration Report. To inform our response, we had a number of discussions with major securityholders and proxy advisors on remuneration matters throughout the year. We appreciate the willingness of both groups to provide their input and respect the concerns raised and perspectives shared. A response from Andrew Harmos, our Chair of the Human Resources Committee, is outlined on page 37 and reflects our preparedness to listen and change.
Board renewal and succession planning continues to be a focus. The Board is committed to continuing to ensure that we appoint directors with an appropriate mix of skills, knowledge, experience and diversity. During the year we were very pleased to welcome Ilana Atlas to the Board. We also announced Catherine Brenner will join the Board from 1 March 2022 and will stand for election at our upcoming AGM.
Steven Leigh has announced his retirement from the Board and on behalf of the directors I extend my thanks to him for his contribution to Scentre Group.
The Board and management team remain confident about the underlying strength of the consumer and the economic recovery across Australia and New Zealand. Our business is well positioned to fulfil Our Ambition to grow, supporting our customers and continuing to deliver long-term growth for our securityholders.
I thank my fellow directors for their valuable contribution and support in what has been a challenging year.
Thank you for your continued support of our company.
Brian Schwartz AM, Chair