Struggling Elan paid Geaney £1.1m

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The Independent Online

Donal Geaney, the former chief executive of troubled Irish pharmaceuticals group Elan, was paid $1.7m (£1.07m) last year despite being forced to step down, according to the company's annual report, which was published yesterday.

Mr Geaney resigned as chief executive following concerns over the company's accounting policies. However, he has been kept on by the company on a two-year contract to help with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the company's accounting, which is primarily looking into its off-balance sheet entities.

Elan's former vice chairman Thomas Lynch, who stepped down in similar circumstances, received $1.4m. He too has been retained by the company as a "senior adviser".

With the figures finally filed yesterday, Elan's president and chief executive, Kelly Martin, said that the company could now refocus on completing asset sales by the end of the year. Elan has already made asset sales of almost $1.6bn to assist in repaying debt.

By filing its annual report, which has been awaited for the past nine weeks, the company will also hope that it gets the breathing space it needs to concentrate on delivering crucial new products, especially the Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis drug, Antegren.

The filing also included a restatement of its 2001 result and its previously announced unaudited 2002 figures.

The impact of the restatements was to reduce diluted earnings per share from $0.95 to $0.75 for 2001 and to reduce Elan's diluted loss per share from $6.85 to $6.65 for 2002.

Elan, which has lost almost 90 per cent of its market value in the past two years, saw shares up almost 5 per cent in London trading to close yesterday at 380p following an improvement of more than 25 per cent on Thursday.