AMA said at its AGM last Thursday that paying executive bonuses at the same time the company took taxpayer pandemic subsidies was necessary to ensure top managers were properly remunerated.

One of the question AMA’s board was quizzed about was paying out bonuses despite having received almost $30.7 million last year alone from New Zealand’s Wage Subsidy and Australia’s JobKeeper programs.

The company paid out $841,000 short term bonuses to exectutives and that included $165,000 to CEO Carl Bizon who took the helm in February this year. Since then the share price has dropped from 70c to 44c, the company has lost in excees of $50m and diluted its shareholder value with its recent $150m captial raise.

Peter Taylor of Autoco in Canberra was not elected to the board as he predicted. He was running to make the point that someone on the board should have experience in the collision repair industry: “But I want to raise the obvious, that no one on the board … has anything to do with the uniqueness of how you run a [smash repair] business – not down to the operational level of someone who’s run a panel shop.”

Director Simon Moore whose company pocketed $3m for handling the purchase of Captial S.M.A.R.T suffered a voting backlash of 9.4% of shareholders against his re-election. 

The pandemic trading conditions were cited for the company losses. AMA said that its unusued capacity was gradually shrinking. In mid-October it reported that unusued capacity was a 37% in light repair facilities and 16% at heavy repair facilties. 

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