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Allders chiefs defend pounds 1m bonus

Directors of Allders were forced on to the defensive yesterday when it emerged they had been paid bonuses totalling pounds 1m for selling the group's duty-free shops subsidiary, Allders International, last year.

Under terms circulated to shareholders in June, Allders' chief executive, Harvey Lipsith, was paid a bonus of pounds 500,000, taking his total pay to pounds 736,000 last year. Tony Collyer, the former finance director who has since left the company, received a pounds 375,000 bonus, taking his total remuneration to pounds 552,000.

The three non-executive directors, including chairman John Pattisson, received bonuses of 50 per cent to 100 per cent of salary for the additional time devoted to the sale of the duty-free shops.

Allders International was sold last summer to SwissAir after a long bid battle with BAA.

Mr Pattisson defended the scheme at Allders' annual meeting yesterday: "We felt the best way to maximise the proceeds was to introduce an incentive scheme. I am convinced it was in the best interests of shareholders."