Bumper bonus for Sports Direct staff

Sports Direct storeStaff at retailer Sports Direct are in line for a share of a record-breaking £87.5m incentive scheme that will double their take-home pay. It's a rare feelgood story in a gloomy retail landscape and staff are already reported as saying the payouts would transform their lives.
The firm's final results are due on Thursday and its earnings are expected to exceed the target of £205m. If this happens, in the summer of 2013 staff will get 75% of their base salaries in shares issued at £1.25p. Staff already stand to receive a payout next summer after last year's target was exceeded.

Shares in the firm

With shares in the firm now trading at £2.61p the company says that the combined value of the payouts – based on the average salary and today's share price – will be £43,750 per head. A total of over 34m shares will be issued.

Dave Forsey, the firm's chief executive, said: "We are looking to reward our colleagues as they truly deserve – we couldn't have achieved the past two years without them." He said that staff had already told him the payouts would be "transformational". Many are already said to be planning to use the money to get on the property ladder.

The Sports Direct scheme awards shares rather than cash, unlike some other retail sector bonus schemes, but it is still a record breaker in a sector that has notched some some significant payouts.
  • John Lewis rewarded staff with a payout worth 18% of annual salary in March. That worked out at around £2,500 each.
  • Waitrose employees, also part of The John Lewis Partnership, received the equivalent of seven weeks' pay in a £106m bonus scheme in 2005.
  • Sainsbury awarded 127,000 staff a bonus of around £630 each last year when earnings targets were met.
  • Tesco staff are to share a £110m bonus payout which will push annual salaries up by a minimum of 2.5%. Last June the firm's Shares in Success scheme shared out a £105m bonus pot between the supermarket's 216,000 employees which saw some net £3,000.
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