SuperGroup pay awards face scrutiny from shareholders

SuperdryThe owner of the Superdry clothing label is expected to come under fire over director pay packages when shareholders gather this week.

Concerns have been raised by shareholder groups ahead of SuperGroup's annual general meeting on Thursday, with the pay deal for new chief operating officer Susanne Given in particular coming under scrutiny.
It is believed the Association of British Insurers has put an "amber alert" on SuperGroup's remuneration report, its second most severe warning, while shareholder body Pirc has recommended investors vote against the pay proposals.

Ms Given - who was hired in April from John Lewis, where she was director of fashion and beauty - has been offered a package including a £350,000 base salary, as well as a guaranteed share award of 300% of salary, or £1.1 million, as a "golden hello".

Shaun Wills, who was appointed chief financial officer in April, is paid £250,000 in annual salary and will also receive a golden hello worth £500,000 in shares.

Pirc said: "This practice is not in the company or investors' long-term interests as it contributes to a general tendency to grant such replacement awards, which in turn devalues the retentive effect of share schemes."

It added that some of the financial targets set for the long-term incentive schemes "are not considered sufficiently challenging".

SuperGroup said in its annual report that it is aware the awards are "unusual" but that they were "necessary to facilitate both recruitments".

But investors do have something to cheer when they meet this week after recent figures confirmed a sales revival at the firm.

SuperGroup, which has 81 UK retail stores, said total sales in the 13 weeks to July 29 were up 20% at £40.2 million while like-for-like sales rose by 1.7%. This is a marked recovery after profits fell by 15% in its last financial year and it was forced to slow expansion plans.

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