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Next CEO pay rises 28% despite falling profits

Lord Simon Wolfson saw his pay increase through a long-term share bonus, despite forgoing his annual bonus

Lord Simon Wolfson, chief executive at Next, saw his pay increase 28% to nearly £3.4m in FY20, despite the company profit before tax falling 53% year-on-year for the period.

While Wolfson did take a cut to his basic salary and did not receive an annual bonus, the group’s non-executive directors sanctioned a total of £2.4m in long-term share bonus payments to the CEO.

Under the terms of the payment, Wolfson will need to hold on to the shares for at least two years before they can be sold.

According to the Guardian, the board said that it made the payments as “financial data shows Next is performing well in exceptionally challenging circumstances”.

It added that Next is “well placed to take advantage of the opportunities of the ongoing structural shift in spending from retail stores to online as well as investment and acquisition opportunities arising from the pandemic”.

The payout comes as potential payouts under the retailer’s long-term incentive scheme has moved from 200% of salary to 225%.

Moreover, with a 0.6% rise in basic salary to £805,000, Wolfson’s earnings could reportedly rise to £5m this year.

Retail Sector has contacted Next for further comment.

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