Debenhams bosses lose out on bonuses after profits slip

Debenhams bosses have lost out on cash and share bonuses this year after profits slipped, according to the department store’s annual report.

Michael Sharp, the chief executive of the retailer, saw his total pay package drop to £754,000 in 2013, 22% below last year, after missing out on a potential bonus worth 100% of his £615,000 a year basic salary. Simon Herrick, its chief financial officer, saw his pay package drop 8% to £489,800, Debenhams’ annual report, published on Monday, showed.

Both executives could have taken a cash bonus worth 2% of salary despite the fall in profits. The bonus would have been based on reaching a base level of underlying sales growth and gross margin performance, but they elected not to take up the cash “in the light of overall profit performance”.

Neither Sharp nor Herrick received a pay rise for the financial year starting in September 2013.

Debenhams said it had faced “very challenging conditions” this year and predicted a tough consumer backdrop for 2014 when it reported a 2.7% fall in annual pre-tax profit to £154m, last month.

It blamed bad weather in the spring for forcing a surprise profit warning in March while it was forced to write off £3.8m after the closure of franchise stores in Romania.


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