Hyro shareholders signal faith in chairman

Robert Clarke has been voted back in as Hyro (ASX:HYO) chairman after putting himself up of re-election in a test of shareholders' approval of his turnaround efforts

Shareholders in digital services company, Hyro (ASX:HYO), have voted to re-elect chairman Robert Clarke in a show of faith in his leadership.

Clarke had put himself up for re-election at Friday's AGM.

In a speech prepared for the meeting, Clarke said that “when I addressed shareholders last year, I suggested that I did not deserve to remain as chairman of Hyro if the company did not demonstrate continued progress towards re-establishing a sound platform for positive operating performance.”

He said that given these comments, he decided to offer himself for re-election this year even though he stood at last year's AGM.

Shareholders voted by 8.8 million votes for to 132,000 against to re-elect Clarke, and by an even wider margin to re-appoint director Paul Nicolou.

Clarke acknowledged that Hyro's viability had been under serious threat in 2010, with ATO tax burdens weighing heavily on the company. But he said the company had achieved 6 months of profitable operating performance since October 2010.

Hyro also settled the last of its tax debt with the ATO earlier this year.

The company has gone from having $32 million in interest bearing debt two years ago, to just $400,000 through an equipment leasing facility today, Clarke said.

Hyro reported a $4.6 million operating loss in 2010 due to investment expenses, but Clarke said the company is pursuing profitable growth as “a critical outcome” for 2011.

HYO shares grew 5.26 per cent in Friday's trading to $0.400.

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