One for the road: CEO resigns at Australia's largest pub property group

One for the road: CEO resigns at Australia's largest pub property group

The owner of Australia's largest portfolio of freehold pub properties will say cheers to its longstanding CEO after 16 years in the job.

ALE Property Group (ASX: LEP) announced today its CEO and managing director Andrew Wilkinson will be stepping down to pursue new executive challenges.

The executive has overseen a growth in ALE's market capitalisation from $91 million to more than $1 billion, delivering a total annual return of around 20 per cent.

Wilkinson will stay in the role until the 2018 rent determinations are completed and a new CEO is appointed.

"After a long and successful leadership of ALE, Andrew has indicated his desire to pursue new challenges. On behalf of the Board I wish to thank Andrew for his significant and consistent contribution to the Group since 2003," says chairman Robert Mactier.

"We will work with Mr. Wilkinson to confirm the optimal timing of his departure and to ensure a smooth and orderly transition process to a new CEO, to lead ALE in its next phase of growth. ALE will commence a CEO search process in the coming weeks."

Wilkinson says it has been a privilege to lead the company and he is pleased significant value has been created for shareholders.

"The new CEO should look forward to working with a high quality property portfolio and a very capable Board and executive team," he says.

The announcement coincided with the group's FY19 results today, which showed a slight decline in distributable profit to $28.3 million and a 4.28 per cent rise in gross passing rents to $61.4 million.

During the year ALE's first major rent review commenced on 79 of its 86 investment properties, which have increased in value by 2.4 per cent to $1.16 billion, based on independent valuations from CBRE and Savills.

Some iconic pubs owned by ALE include the New Brighton Hotel in Manly, Young and Jackson opposite Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Brisbane's Breakfast Creek Hotel, Miami Tavern on the Gold Coast, the Noosa Reef Hotel, the Sail & Anchor Hotel in Fremantle and Exeter Hotel in Adelaide.

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