Browne earns £4m on strength of BP Amoco

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of BP Amoco was awarded a total package of pay, bonuses and incentives of £4m last year thanks to a surge in the oil giant's profits and share price.

The company's annual report, published yesterday, showed Sir John Browne's salary package rose 55 per cent to $2.351m (£1.48m) in 1999, including an annual performance bonus of $1.137m, compared with a total of $1.514m in 1998.

Sir John was also awarded $4.036m under the company's long-term performance plan in the form of 527,600 shares at £4.81 a share. This makes a remuneration package of £4.02m, although Sir John cannot cash in the shares for three years.

The salary bill for the BP Amoco board, excluding long-term bonuses, rose 35 per cent to £11.97m. All the directors earned more than $1m with Larry Fuller, the retiring former chairman and chief executive of Amoco, topping the list with $2.43m in pay, bonus and benefits, up 45 per cent from the previous year's $1.67m.

The annual report described 1999 - the first year since the merger of BP and Amoco - as a "year of outstanding achievement", and said the high level of annual bonus reflected the "strong performance". BP Amoco's pre-tax profit for the year to December 1999 rose 46 per cent to $7.03bn from $4.80bn.

The long-term performance award is based on how BP compares with seven rivals - Chevron, ENI, Exxon, Repsol, Shell, Texaco and TotalFina - on shareholder return, profits and growth over a three-year period.

BP said the increase was due in particular to shareholder return. Between 1996 and 1999, BP outperformed its rivals by 15 per cent compared with 4 per cent by their closest rival.

The share price rose from 350p to around 615p over the three year period 1997-99.

Meanwhile, BP yesterday said it hoped for approval from US regulators for its takeover of Atlantic Richfield (Arco) "within two weeks". Sir John said it had agreed to sell Arco's interests in an Oklahoma company for $335m, adding, "we believe we have addressed the anti-trust concerns of the Federal Trade Commission".