Liberty to freeze basic salaries of directors for second year

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The Independent Online

Liberty International, the FTSE 100 property group behind the Lakeside megamall in Essex, is to freeze the basic salaries of its senior directors for a second consecutive year.

In the 2009 annual report, released on Friday, the company admitted that directors' pay has "fallen significantly behind that of its peer group". The report said that the reorganised group, which will be divided in two next month, pledged to review the situation in 2011. Only one director, finance boss Ian Durant, received a pay increase last year, and will enjoy a hike in 2010, due to contractual obligations. The best-paid director last year, including bonuses, benefits and allowances, was the chief executive, David Fischel, who received nearly £1m.

The firm spent 2009 trying to protect its financial position, which the conservative pay policy will help reinforce.

Liberty is on course to demerge the business on 7 May into two separately listed firms; Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) and Capital & Counties. CSC, which has a £4.4bn regional shopping mall portfolio, will stay in the FTSE100. Capital & Counties, a non-shopping- centre division focused mainly on central London, will be in the FTSE250.

Liberty shares were up 6p on Friday to 508p.