Belfast Telegraph

Pay rises dry up for directors

By Peter Cripps

Superdry fashion chain SuperGroup has frozen the pay of its directors despite its shares having doubled since it went public last year.

Its executive board, including founder Julian Dunkerton, saw their annual salaries remain unchanged in May, according to the firm's annual report, although they were given life insurance for the first time.

The report said that the executive directors' "significant shareholdings" in the company and the performance share plan introduced last year are sufficient to incentivise them.

Mr Dunkerton built up the business from a market stall in Cheltenham and floated it in March 2010, raising an estimated £125m. Its clothes have been worn by celebrities such as David Beckham and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Before the flotation, his salary was £59,884 p.a. but rocketed to £400,000 from May 2010 with another £18,000 for medical insurance and a company car.

Mr Dunkerton, who still owns about 30% of the company, cashed in shares worth about £80m at the time SuperGroup went public.

SuperGroup had been one of the darlings of the stock market since its flotation with investors impressed by stellar sales and profit figures.

But in May - just days after the pay freeze took effect - the group revealed that it had failed to get its summer ranges into shops in time to take advantage of the spring heatwave, sparking a fall in its share price. It had previously warned that rising raw material prices could hit its earnings.

Since then, its shares have recovered after it revealed stronger summer figures.

They are current at 950p, nearly double its float price of about 500p.