Wickes directors double their money

Two directors of Wickes, the recovering DIY retailer, received bonuses of almost pounds 500,000 between them last year, almost doubling their salary in both cases.

Bill Grimsey, who was promoted to chief executive in 1996 after the company discovered a back hole in its accounts, received a bonus of pounds 248,000. This took his total remuneration last year to pounds 511,000. Bill Hoskins, finance director, received a pounds 200,000 bonus, taking his total pay to pounds 449,000.

The company said the bonuses were performance-related, although no method of calculation was detailed in the accounts.

A spokesman for Wickes said the bonuses were justified given the recovery of the company which was close to collapse after the pounds 50m black hole was discovered and Henry Sweetbaum departed as chief executive.

"The salary packages at Wickes are heavily performance-related and the directors' success in achieving profits that few thought possible at the beginning of 1997 are reflected in the bonuses for that year. If they don't succeed they get no bonus. Over the last year or so shareholders have seen the shares rise in value from around 130p to approaching 300p." They closed up 3p yesterday at 297.5p.

The accounts, published yesterday, also showed Mr Grimsey was granted almost 400,000 share options at 175.5p. These are not exercisable for two years but are already worth pounds 480,000.