Tobacco and pubs produce bumper boardroom pay days

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The Independent Online

Gareth Davis, the chief executive of Imperial Tobacco, which owns Regal, Embassy and Lambert & Butler cigarettes, collected £2.5m last year from his salary and incentive schemes.

According to the company's annual report, published yesterday, Mr Davis was paid £660,000 in basic salary and £506,000 as a cash bonus - an improvement of more than 25 per cent on his bonus in 2003.

On top of his bonus and benefits, he received nearly £1.3m in additional long-term and short-term share incentive schemes. He was also given an extra £9,000 in benefits in 2004, which was used to pay for a Mercedes. His pension fund rose by £40,000, so he can now look forward to £443,000 a year in retirement.

Over the past five years, Imperial's share price has more than quadrupled from about 320p to more than £14. It recently announced an annual profits rise of nearly 6 per cent.

Robert Drybus, Imperial's finance director, also earned a bumper payout from share schemes, more than doubling his £757,000 basic salary and bonus package to £1.5m. The lowest paid executive director at Imperial, David Creswell, earned £834,000.

Ted Tuppen, the chief executive of Enterprise Inns, one of the largest pub companies in Britain, has also reaped rewards from a strong share price over the past year. He was paid a basic salary of £446,000 but bonuses and share options took his total package to £2m.

His basic package of salary and annual cash bonus rose 11 per cent to £802,000, including a £112,000 contribution to his pension scheme. But Mr Tuppen exercised additional share options to the tune of £1.2m. A £241,00 gain came from a short-term incentive scheme, while £956,000 came from its long-term scheme.

Shares in Enterprise hit highs of 794p last year, up nearly 60 per cent over the year. Over the past five years, its shares have risen sevenfold.