M&S boss Steve Rowe handed £600k bonus despite fall in profits

The CEO and executive directors waived a 2% pay rise for the second year
The CEO and executive directors waived a 2% pay rise for the second year

Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe has been handed a near-£600,000 bonus despite annual profits tumbling by 64% at the high street chain.

The retail giant’s annual report revealed it paid Mr Rowe £1.6 million in pay and bonuses, although all executive directors missed out on share awards under a long-term incentive plan after failing to hit targets.

Mr Rowe, who was promoted to chief executive in April last year, picked up a £599,000 bonus on top of his £810,000 salary and £234,000 in pensions and benefits.

Finance chief Helen Weir was also awarded a £496,000 annual bonus, while marketing director Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne landed a £459,000 bonus handout.

The annual report also showed Mr Rowe could be in line for a total pay package worth up to £4.7m in cash and shares over the year to next April if all targets are met in full.

His pay details come just weeks after it reported a gloomy set of annual results, which showed profits diving by nearly two thirds to £176.4m, 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 group has pledged to top up salaries for those worse off as a result of the changes.

The annual report confirmed that Mr Rowe and executive directors waived a 2% pay rise for the second year running “in support of the proposed new pay arrangements being made elsewhere in the UK organisation”.

In awarding the annual bonus to Mr Rowe, the group’s remuneration committee said it “considered the overall performance of the business and of the executive directors against this, as well as against their individual targets”.

It added: “The Remuneration Committee is satisfied that incentive payments for the executive directors reflect both the overall financial performance of the business and the hard work undertaken by the team to achieve this in the challenging environment.”