The top five directors in Glencore will collectively pocket about $410 million (£270m) in dividends after the commodities trading giant – and its impending merger partner Xstrata – both revealed tumbling profits for 2012.
Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg is in line for the biggest windfall, with his 1.09bn shares set to yield $173m in dividend income after the group announced a 5% increase in investor payouts to 15.75 cents a share for the year.
His payout comes against a backdrop of rising costs and falling prices across the commodities industry, as miners suffer from over-capacity at a time of weak demand.
Glencore today reported a 25% drop in profits to $3.1bn, while its merger partner, Xstrata, unveiled an even bigger 37% decline, to $3.6bn.
Including writedowns, the companies' fortunes declined even further last year, with Xstrata's profits falling by 79% to $1.2bn after the miner took $2.6bn of impairment charges, including writedowns on its stake in troubled South African platinum miner Lonmin and some of its other nickel and zinc assets.
Meanwhile, adding exceptional items to Glencore's bottom line results leaves profits 75% lower than in 2011 at $1bn.
Glencore said it hoped to complete the £56bn mega-merger it has agreed with Xstrata by April 16. The completion date has been pushed back three times as the companies wait for the Chinese authorities to rule on the deal. The companies have received clearance from their own shareholders and the other regulators.
Glasenberg declined to give an update on how Glencore and Xstrata would look after the merger until the deal is completed.
However, he said opportunistic acquisitions were not off the agenda, adding that Glencore could stand to benefit as a new generation of bosses at major mining companies sold off their peripheral businesses.