Marks & Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe has been awarded a near-£600,000 bonus despite the retailer’s profits plunging by 64 per cent.
The retail giant’s annual report revealed it paid Rowe £1.64 million — including a £599,000 bonus on top of his £810,000 salary and £234,000 in pensions and benefits.
However, all executive directors missed out on share awards under a long-term incentive plan after failing to hit targets and, along with Rowe, they all waived a two per cent pay rise for the second year running “in support of the proposed new pay arrangements being made elsewhere in the UK organisation”.
Rowe, who has only been at the helm since April last year, still took home a smaller pay packet compared to his predecessor Marc Bolland, who led M&S for six years until April 2016 and who pocketed £2.04 million in his final year at the company.
Meanwhile, finance chief Helen Weir was also awarded a £496,000 annual bonus and marketing director Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne took home a £459,000 bonus.
The retailer’s annual report said Rowe could potentially receive pay package worth up to £4.7 million over the year to next April if all targets are met in full.
Rowe’s pay details come just weeks after M&S’s annual results showed profits plummeting by 64 per cent to £176.4 million, while sales in its clothing arm also plunged back into reverse.
News of his bonus also follows controversial changes to M&S workers’ pay and pensions, although the company has pledged to top up salaries for those worse off from the changes.
Since taking over the helm Rowe has been leading an overhaul at M&S, announcing plans in November to close around 30 UK stores and convert 45 more into food-only shops, while also pulling out of 10 international markets.
He is also focusing on reviving the fortunes in the clothing and home arm, but fourth quarter sales in that division fell by 5.9 per cent.