THE boss of Wickes owner Travis Perkins saw his pay package almost double last year – after action to cut costs and stabilise the business helped shares soar.
Chief executive Geoff Cooper was awarded a £636,000 bonus last year on top of salary and benefits following a tripling in the group’s share price, according to the firm’s annual report.
The hike in his total pay and bonuses to £1.4m – up from £777,000 in 2008 – came after a drastic overhaul of the business during the recession.
Costs were cut by £60m in 2009 and a shareholder cash-call was successfully completed – while trading showed signs of revival at the Wickes DIY arm by the end of the year. Wicks has an outlet at Longroyd Bridge in Huddersfield.
But the turnaround programme included axing 2,500 jobs and 30 senior management posts over the past two years.
Profits continued to slide last year – down by 11% to £180m – although this was a marked improvement on the 23% profits plunge reported in 2008.
The report said Travis Perkins “took specific actions aimed at maintaining morale and employee engagement in difficult trading conditions.”
It said: “This included removing less engaged colleagues as we reduced costs, improving remuneration for the remaining employees, increasing internal communication activities and removing unnecessary and burdensome procedures.”
Travis Perkins gave a 2.5% pay rise to the majority of staff – excluding the executive team – last January.
Top bosses received no bonus in 2008 and saw their salaries frozen for the first 11 months of 2009.
However, they received a 2.5% pay hike in December and a further 1% increase was offered across the board to all employees in January this year.