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Stakeholder Engagement and Section 172 Statement

The Board has responsibility for managing the business to promote its success, and having regard to how its decisions and events impact its stakeholders, engaging with and supporting them appropriately.

Our Colleagues

Relationship to Headlam

Colleagues are at the heart of our business, and are our greatest asset. There are over 2,300 colleagues at Headlam within a variety of departments, including warehousing, transport, sales, and administration.

How we support

We continue to focus on making Headlam a great place to work, and ensure colleagues share in the Group's long-term success

How we engage

The Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer, Executive Team, and Non-executive members of the Board all have frequent interaction with colleagues, including site visits and both formal and informal meetings and forums (inclusive of the Employee Forum).

Effect on decision making, outcome, and benefits to stakeholder

We decided to continue investing in the strategy, and for the future, despite the difficult economic backdrop. This is aligned with our fundamental belief that the long-term success of the business and the expansion of its marketleading position is of most benefit to all stakeholders.

Investing in and embedding a strong health and safety culture, seeing meaningful improvements in H&S culture and reporting.

Comprehensive learning and development programmes rolled out.

Conducted a first colleague engagement survey, providing valuable insight into what is working well and what can be done to better engage our colleagues.

Took the decision to again tier our cost-of-living increases to ensure lowest-paid colleagues got the greatest increase.

Our Customers

Relationship to Headlam

Imperative to our success and the growth of the Company.

We have an extensive customer base spanning independent and multiple retailers, small and large contractors, and house builders.

How we support

We provide our customers with a market-leading service through the largest product range, in-depth knowledge ecommerce and marketing support, and nationwide next day delivery service.

We help our customers grow their businesses through providing them with competitive advantages.

How we engage

Frequent interaction through sales representatives,dedicated service teams, and communications channels.

Six monthly customer surveys, and feedback mechanisms Focus groups, including on new product launches.

Effect on decision making, outcome, and benefits to stakeholder

We decided to continue investing in the strategy, and for the future, despite the difficult economic backdrop. This is aligned with our fundamental belief that the long-term success of the business and the expansion of its market-leading position is of most benefit to all stakeholders.

Considerable investment and progress in upgrading the network to increase the level of service to all customers.

Continue to improve the service propositions for all customer segments, including: i) rolling out the trade counter network to create a nationwide footprint that services both the fitter and general contractor market; and ii) rolling out a DSV proposition to larger retailers.

Our Suppliers

Relationship to Headlam

Key to ensuring we can supply the best product at a competitive price in a timely manner to customers / end-consumers.

We work with suppliers across the globe manufacturing the broadest range of products, and give them a highly effective route to market into the fragmented customer base

How we support

Helping and supporting manufacturers with selling their products into our large and diverse trade customer base.

How we engage

Frequent visits to suppliers’ sites and premises. Second Supplier Conference held to share our insights and strategy with them, and how we can more effectively work together.

Sharing of sales data, and insight into customer and end-consumer buying.

Effect on decision making, outcome, and benefits to stakeholder

We decided to continue investing in the strategy, and for the future, despite the difficult economic backdrop. This is aligned with our fundamental belief that the long-term success of the business and the expansion of its market-leading position is of most benefit to all stakeholders.

Further digital transformation and ecommerce initiatives focused on moving the business to a more digitally-enabled and multi-channel model. Providing many benefits for suppliers including: more efficient order-taking processes; quick and effective automated information flows; better supplier and customer engagement; and greater product and brand awareness.

Continued to work closely on sharing data, and ensuring an efficient and ethical supply chain.

Our Shareholders

Relationship to Headlam

The owners of the Company. Highly important that the Board is aware of and solicits their views, and then evaluates these views in relation to the strategic and corporate objectives of the Company.

Key joint focus on the long term success and sustainability of the Company.

How we support

Focus on delivering a long-term sustainable business that operates with the highest level of governance.

How we engage

Frequent regulatory announcements with high levels of disclosure.

In-person presentations and meetings, including offering meetings at the Company’s sites. Use of webinars and recordings to allow all shareholders to hear and view materials.

Solicitation and consideration of feedback, including on strategy and its oversight.

Effect on decision making, outcome, and benefits to stakeholder

We decided to continue investing in the strategy, and for the future, despite the difficult economic backdrop. This is aligned with our fundamental belief that the long-term success of the business and the expansion of its market-leading position is of most benefit to all stakeholders.

Further efficiency and mitigating actions introduced during 2023 to help support margins and better align costs with the weak market backdrop. Ongoing scrutiny of operational performance, efficiencies, and the cost base.

Lowering the dividend cover ratio from the Group's long-term average targeted cover ratio of 2.0x. With this reflecting the Board's confidence in the medium-term prospects.

Our Communities and the Environment

Relationship to Headlam

Key to supporting the success of the Company’s regional and national businesses.

We actively recruit people from local communities, so very important to the ongoing success of the Company by attracting great people.

Minimising environmental impact is critical to managing climate change, and the knock-on impact on communities.

How we support

Support communities through employment and engagement activities, and also by reducing our impact on the environment through our sustainability strategy.

How we engage

Engagement with colleagues to ensure aware of local causes and events

Actively advertise job vacancies through word of mouth and locally.

Locally focused Communities Programme which gives colleagues the opportunity to both volunteer and donate to projects and charities in their local community.

Effect on decision making, outcome, and benefits to stakeholder

We decided to continue investing in the strategy, and for the future, despite the difficult economic backdrop. This is aligned with our fundamental belief that the long-term success of the business and the expansion of its market-leading position is of most benefit to all stakeholders.

Building on the Headlam Communities Programme launched in 2022, including working with Business In the Community (BITC) to trial a community needs analysis.

Implemented some key actions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, predominantly focussed on improving transport efficiencies and the installation of owned solar panels.

Launched four sustainable product ranges across three of our own brands, reducing waste to landfill.

Section 172 Statement Declaration

The Directors of the Company are required by Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 to act in a way that promotes the success of the Company for the benefit of stakeholders as a whole and in doing so, they must also have regard to wider expectations of responsible business behaviour, specifically:

  • the likely consequences of any decision in the long term;
  • the interests of the Company’s people;
  • the need to foster the Company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others;
  • the impact of the Company’s operations on the community and the environment;
  • the desirability of the Company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct; and
  • the need to act fairly between members of the Company.

The Board understands the importance of engagement with its key stakeholders as only in this way can it truly understand their needs and concerns to support its decision making, and the likely impact of those decisions on each stakeholder group. The Company uses a variety of methods to engage, both formally and informally, believing that much can be gained from personal interaction.

The Board acknowledges that situations may arise where stakeholder groups have conflicting priorities of achieving its strategic objectives and the long-term sustainable success of the business.

Following consideration of the information contained within Stakeholders and Engagement, and all other activities and undertakings detailed in this Annual Report, the Board considers it has fulfilled its duty in respect of Section 172, both individually and collectively, and that it has acted in the way it considers would be most likely to promote the success of the Company for the benefit of its members as a whole (having regard to the stakeholders and matters set out in s172(1) (a) to (f) of the Act) in the decisions taken during the year ended 31 December 2023.