Waste managing executive wins pounds 475,000 bonus

EDWIN Falkman, chief executive of Waste Management International, received a bonus of more than pounds 475,000 last year on top of his salary of pounds 375,000, thanks to a formula relating the bonus to growth in turnover as well as growth in pre- tax profits over the preceding three years.

In 1993, the acquisitive group's 15 per cent rise in sales, to pounds 941.4m, was more than accounted for by 48 takeovers on which it spent more than pounds 300m. Like-for-like sales fell by 6 per cent.

In 1992 - the year WMX Technologies, its US parent, floated 20 per cent of Waste Management International on the London Stock Exchange - it made 24 acquisitions for a total of pounds 166m.

The flotation prospectus stated: 'The company's historical growth has resulted in large part from acquisitions.'

The bonus formula, set in 1991 by a committee composed of the company's non-executive directors, applied a multiplier based on annual average growth in turnover and pre- tax profits over three years to a proportion of Mr Falkman's 1993 base salary. In that period turnover rose by an average of 27 per cent a year, while pre-tax profits increased by 28 per cent a year.

Waste Management's turnover in the first quarter of 1994 was 16 per cent higher than the first quarter of last year at pounds 256m, with 9 per cent of the increase accounted for by five 'tuck-in' takeovers costing a total of pounds 15m during the quarter.

However, when asked by the Independent to comment on Mr Falkman's bonus arrangement, Nigel Wilson, finance director, said: 'The bonus arrangement relates to a past period, not to any future period. It has been changed and the bonus will not in future depend on turnover growth.'

The shares, 585p on flotation in April 1992, fell 13p to 543p on publication of the first-quarter results showing a 12 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to pounds 38.7m.

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