Directors' bonuses anger Alldays investors

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The Independent Online
DIRECTORS OF the Alldays convenience store chain are facing a backlash from institutional investors after the payment of large bonuses last year during which the company's shares lost 90 per cent of their value.

Colin Glass, the chief executive, was paid a bonus of pounds 104,000, the equivalent of 42 per cent of his annual salary. George Leckie, the finance director, received an pounds 81,000 bonus equivalent to 55 per cent of salary. The "special one-off payments" were made for the "successful disposal" of the group's food service business, which was sold to Brake Bros for pounds 43.6m in November.

The bonuses were paid in spite of a calamitous year for the group which saw the shares fall from 621.5p last spring to a low of 62.5p in February following a profits' collapse and a warning on trading.

One investor with a major stake in the company said: "We will be asking them to justify it when we see them next. It does not look good."

Pirc, the corporate governance specialist, added: "We have severe reservations about certain aspects of the corporate governance structure, particularly regarding remuneration."

Alldays revealed that it had originally intended the bonuses to be higher but they were scaled back after the group's trading difficulties became apparent.

Colin Glass' bonus was originally pounds 175,000 before the adjustment. Mr Leckie was paid the full amount because he had already used the money to settle a capital gains tax liability. His bonus will be adjusted next year, the company said.

Justifying the payments a spokesman for Alldays said: "They were for securing a better than expected price for the sale of a business to the only realistic buyer."

The shares closed 4p lower at 72.5p.