Reckitt Benckiser chief cleans up with pay package worth more than £90m

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The Independent Online

Bart Becht, the chief executive of consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser, proved yesterday that where there's muck, there's brass, by pocketing more than £90m in pay, benefits and share options for 2009.

Mr Becht's earnings, detailed in the FTSE 100-listed company's annual report, include his basic salary of £987,000 and a performance-related bonus of £3.5m. But the real polish to Mr Becht's pay packet came in the shape of exercised share options and the vesting of restricted shares, which pushed his total remuneration for last year up by more than £87m. Reckitt Benckiser makes products ranging from Vanish stain remover, to Finish dishwasher tablets and Cillit Bang, the limescale treatment.

A spokeswoman for the company was eager to point out that Reckitt's shareholders have also cleaned up in recent years, compared to peers backing other leading shares. The company has provided a total shareholder return of 649 per cent in the last decade. The group's share price has doubled in the last five years, outperforming the rest of the FTSE 100, which is up just 20 per cent in the same period.

In 2009, the Reckitt's net revenue was up 18 per cent, with profits up by 26 per cent.

The company also said yesterday that Mr Becht will be donating three million of his shares in the company, worth about £110m, to his charitable trust, which backs organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières and Save the Children.

Mr Becht's finance director also came up smelling of roses. Colin Day received £1.7m in pay, bonuses and benefits, and earned about £6m extra from share options and restricted shares.

The group was not able to say how much the average member of staff earns, but it said that everyone working for the company received a 4 per cent pay rise last year.

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