Pay soars for Home Retail bosses

The boss of Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail Group saw his total pay soar more than 40% last year despite overseeing a slide in annual profits.

Terry Duddy earned £1.56 million in pay and perks during the year to the start of March, up from £1.1 million a year earlier, even though the retailer posted a 10% decline in pre-tax profits to £91 million in 2012/13.

Its annual report revealed Mr Duddy's bonus leapt to £662,000 from £217,000 a year earlier as the company said it hit benchmark targets despite the profits fall. His salary also edged up to £838,000.

Home Retail posted its fifth consecutive year of slumping profits as DIY chain Homebase dragged down earnings. But catalogue chain Argos returned to profit, lifted by a digital push and overhaul which involves closing or relocating at least 75 stores over the next five years.

Finance director Richard Ashton also earned a 43% total pay rise, with a £379,000 bonus lifting his total package to £875,000. Chairman John Coombe's fee also leapt more than 80% to £202,000, after he stepped up to the role, replacing Oliver Stocken.

Cath Keers, chair of Home Retail's remuneration committee, said the group's profit and cash performance was good in a "challenging year generally for retailers".

She added while Mr Duddy and Mr Ashton had earned bonuses worth 118.5% of their salary, the pay committee cut their actual rewards by a third to 79% of salary "in consideration of the alignment of reward with overall group performance".

Mr Duddy has opted to take his bonus in deferred shares.

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