Kingfisher chairman's pay package jumps 52%

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The Independent Online
SIR GEOFF MULCAHY, executive chairman of Kingfisher, received pounds 1,314,000 in salary and pension contributions last year, a 52 per cent increase on the previous year.

The rise was partly due to a near-tripling of his pension contribution from pounds 90,000 to pounds 264,000 to make up a funding deficit. Excluding that, his package rose 36 per cent to pounds 1.05m, of which pounds 622,000 was basic salary and the remainder bonuses.

The group's pre-tax profits in the year to 29 January rose 51 per cent to pounds 309.3m, while earnings per share were 30 per cent higher at 28.2p. The increase wasdue to the aquisition of Darty, the French electrical retailer.

Profits from the British stores - which include Woolworth, B&Q and Comet - were slightly down.

Nigel Whittaker, corporate affairs director, said it was unfair to criticise the performance because it was due to acquisitions. 'Shareholders should be saying, 'Thank God they got Darty, it was a clever deal,' ' he said. Over five years the group's profits had risen by 78 per cent and earnings by 50 per cent, while Sir Geoff's salary had increased by 40 per cent.

Other directors also had substantial pay rises and the total bill increased by 85 per cent to pounds 3,271,000. Three directors earned between pounds 410,000 and pounds 640,000 while last year only Sir Geoff earned more than pounds 375,000.

Mr Whittaker said the rise in the total bill was partly because of the recruitment of an extra director, Alan Smith, as chief executive. and, Excluding that, basic salaries were 5 per cent higher.

Kingfisher has devoted a page of its annual report to an explanation of its remuneration policy and bonus schemes. It says its annual bonus is based on earnings per share growth over three years and return on capital.

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