In 2011 when we started this long journey, I dreamed about being here. The Employee Share Ownership Programme is going to have a great impact on every single employee on the programme.
The first two goals of ESOP were to acknowledge employees for helping to build the organisation and to attract and retain great talent that would take the Group into the future. The third goal was around our transformation agenda.You will recall that although many organisations had broad-based black economic empowerment programmes, I am proud of the way in which ours has transformed Clicks.
ESOP is different in that senior executives who qualify for long-term incentives are not recipients. The programme also allocated enhanced shares of fifteen percent to employees who had been with the organisation for more than five years prior to its launch as well as pharmacists and senior black employees. Enhanced allocations were also made to employees who were promoted through the occupational levels. All of these must indicate to you that we didn’t just launch the programme. We had many days of talking about what we wanted to achieve with the organisation, how we wanted to make sure our employees were with us, how we want to make sure that we were recognising tenure, that we were recognising the very areas of skills that we were going to need to build this great organisation to even greater heights.
The organisation had hoped its growth would see the share price increase to enable beneficiaries to receive the equivalent of half a year’s salary. Where we are today, through your work and the strategic direction of the leadership of the organisation, the share price is double than what we had hoped for. At this stage, it looks as if for most of you, your benefit is going to be equivalent to more than a year’s salary. So well done to all of you for your hard work and what you have enabled this organisation to achieve, not only in terms of market share, but how the marketplace values our shares which is reflected in our share price.
Think about what you are going to do with the benefit that will be accruing to you. We have seen many instances where unscrupulous people have taken advantage of employees who have been the beneficiaries of employee share ownership programmes. We don’t want that for you.What I am hoping for is that you will think very carefully about what this great benefit is going to mean for you and your family, about you moving forward in your life, about moving your children forward in their lives, so that what you are able to achieve will leave a lasting legacy for you and your family. Thank you very much to each one of you for making this a great place to work, a great place to shop and a great place to invest.