Dixons directors lose bonus after profit alert

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The Independent Online

Boardroom pay at Dixons sank by one-third last year after a profit warning from the electricals retailer in early 2003 wiped out bonuses for its top managers.

Boardroom pay at Dixons sank by one-third last year after a profit warning from the electricals retailer in early 2003 wiped out bonuses for its top managers.

None of the group's executive directors received a bonus for the financial year 2002-03, the company's annual report revealed yesterday, slicing more than £1m off its directors' wage bill for the year to May 2004.

A disastrous Christmas in 2002, at the peak of the competition inquiry into the sale of extended warranties, wiped one-fifth off the company's market valuation after it issued a profit warning. Dixons' shares hit a five-year low of 79.25p in January 2003, but have since recovered, down 2p yesterday at 158.5p.

Directors at the company received £1.96m last year, including benefits, against £3.2m the previous year. John Clare, the chief executive, saw his total pay drop 20 per cent to £643,000, although his basic salary rose 4 per cent to £609,000. Jeremy Darroch, the former finance director, was paid a basic salary of £390,000. BSkyB, which lured Mr Darroch away from Dixons in June, has yet to disclose his new package.

Mr Clare was the only remaining Dixons director to benefit from the final payout following the group's sale of Freeserve to Wanadoo of France in 2001. His final instalment of bonus agreed after the disposal was worth £75,200, which he received in February.

Separately, it emerged that Dixons broke recommended best practice last year when it paid its auditors, KPMG, £58,995 to advise on its remuneration report. This was on top of KPMG's £493,378 bill for its audit work. Dixons said it was "cognisant of the role played by KPMG" with regard to its audit work, but felt the accountancy firm's "credentials ... justified their appointment to advise on remuneration matters".

Meanwhile, John von Spreckelsen, Somerfield's chairman, saw his total remuneration increase 22 per cent to £782,000 last year, the supermarket's annual report revealed yesterday.

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