Mulcahy gets nearly pounds 1m in pay bonanza

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Sir Geoff Mulcahy, chief executive of Kingfisher, saw his pay rise to almost pounds 1m last year, boosted by a "long-term incentive" payment of pounds 226,000. The bumper payment was made during a year in which Kingfisher's pre-tax profits before exceptional items increased by just 2 per cent.

Sir Geoff's total pay, including salary, annual bonus and other benefits soared from pounds 678,000 to pounds 758,000. Bonuses and pension contributions increased the total to pounds 999,000. Though this is only marginally higher than the previous year's figure of pounds 949,000 this is because Sir Geoff received a lower pensions contribution last year than in 1995 when the contribution was pounds 271,000.

Justifying the pay, a Kingfisher spokesman said: "The executive directors have not had a pay rise since August 1993 and the long-term incentive payments were decided by the remuneration committee. This year has been one of recovery for the group."

Sir Geoff was demoted from chairman to chief executive last year with a brief to revive the fortunes of the ailing retail group after a profits warning last January forced a boardroom clear-out. The fortunes of Woolworths and Comet have improved and the share price has responded but problems have emerged at the B&Q DIY business where profits slumped by a third.

Other directors have also enjoyed a bumper year. Philippe Frances, who runs the Darty electricals business in France, was paid a total of pounds 682,000 last year, more than many chief executives of FT-SE 100 companies. Jim Hodkinson, who runs B&Q, was paid pounds 480,000, including a pounds 107,000 long- term bonus in a year.

Roger Jones, who runs Woolworths, was paid pounds 383,000. Sir John Banham, who was appointed chairman of the group earlier this year, is to be paid a salary of pounds 175,000.

Separately, Peter Davis, group chief executive at Prudential, was paid pounds 408,000 in benefits and bonuses after his appointment on 1 April last year. The figure compares with pounds 707,000 earned by his predecessor, Mick Newmarch, who resigned in January 1995.

Jim Sutcliffe, chief executive at Prudential UK, who had been tipped as a possible successor to Mr Newmarch, saw his pay rise from pounds 219,000 in 1994, when he was appointed to the board, to pounds 368,000 last year.