Steel chief's options worth pounds 2.3m

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British Steel chairman and chief executive Brian Moffat saw his total salary rise by 5.1 per cent to pounds 521,530 last year, but that is dwarfed by the value of his share options - pounds 2.36m.

Following growing concern about hidden pay and perks for the UK's top executives, British Steel has spelt out in greater depth than ever before some of the rewards for its directors.

The company's annual report, out yesterday, showed that Mr Moffat's pay rise included a pounds 112,500 performance-related bonus, due to last year's sharp rise in pre-tax profits from pounds 80m to pounds 578m. He also received another 162,000 options - the right to buy shares at favourable prices - bringing his total holding to 1.4 million shares.

At yesterday's share price of 169p, Mr Moffat is sitting on paper profits of pounds 2.3m, although some options cannot be exercised until 1997. His package also includes 929,800 shares which he can exercise for 57p between now and 2002.

The rest of the British Steel board are also sitting on options of at least 500,000 shares. On top of the options, the seven directors shared performance bonuses up from pounds 389,667 to pounds 438,525.

It also emerged yesterday that Mike Hoffman, group chief executive and deputy chairman of Thames Water, enjoyed a nearly 20 per cent rise in pay to pounds 295,000, including a pounds 37,000 bonus. He also received pounds 113,000 in pension benefits and 25,000 share options worth pounds 6,800.