Labour's Lord Hollick boosted by bumper pay rise at United

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Lord Hollick, the chief executive of United Business Media, the business-to-business publisher, saw his pay almost double last year.

The Labour peer's big remuneration boost, to £1.31m, followed a period of severe cost-cutting at the company. In February, UBM announced a 42 per cent jump in underlying pre-tax profits to £103.2m for the 2003 calendar year. However, after taking off amortisation of goodwill, the bottom-line loss was £18.4m, an improvement on the £221.2m loss made in 2002 in the midst of a recession in the markets served by UBM, which specialises in magazines to serve the hi-tech industry.

For 2003, Lord Hollick made £668,367 in basic salary, a £359,250 cash bonus, a £267,347 deferred bonus in shares, plus £17,850 in other benefits. His total remuneration package came to £1.31m, up from £686,217 the previous year, the company's annual report showed.

Announcing the 2003 figures in February, Lord Hollick said the company had passed the "inflexion point" of the downturn and that growth had returned. UBM's shares ran up last year as the market priced in a rebound.

He said of the 2003 results: "These excellent results have been achieved through a combination of gradually improving revenues and significant operating margin gains. After a slow first half, revenues in the second half grew 5.8 per cent. In the US in the second half, continuing technology revenues matched the prior period for the first time in three years.

He added: "Productivity and cost gains achieved through the radical transformation of our business model boosted United's 2003 operating margin to 13.3 per cent."