Sports Direct raises its earnings targets

Mike Ashley, Newcastle United owner and majority shareholder in Sports Direct, is going to have to work even harder to meet the criteria set by the sports and outdoor gear retailer to hit his bonus targets.

Sports Direct had to withdraw its most recent "Super-Stretch Bonus" targets when it was clear a significant proportion of shareholders opposed them at the annual meeting in September. Today, it said it was "minded" to increase the earnings target for Ashley — who gets no pay — at which he receives his bonuses from £290m to £310m for 2014 and from £340m to £360m in 2015. If those higher targets get shareholder approval, chief executive Dave Forsey said: "I'm sure Mike will see that as a further challenge he and we can rise to."

Sports Direct's sales rose 22.5 per cent to £1.1bn in the six months to October, with headline profits up 26 per cent to £125m.

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