M&S staff miss out on bonus after failure to hit targets

Marks and Spencer’s entire workforce will miss out on a bonus this year, according to the high street stalwart’s annual report.

Chief executive Steve Rowe is among the thousands of staff who will not get the annual payout after failing to hit targets.

But despite missing out on the bonus, the boss’s total pay packet for the year jumped by 48% to £1.7 million, compared with £1.1 million a year earlier.

The rise was due to a long-term bonus payout of £621,000 relating to targets hit in 2016.

Despite holding back the bonus from all staff this year, the retailer’s board decided to give Mr Rowe a £24,500 pay rise to his basic salary of £810,000 – although the company point out he has not received a basic pay rise since 2016.

He also got a car and chauffeur as part of his pay package and a £203,000 pension contribution, taking his total retirement fund with the company to £4.6 million.

Chief financial officer Humphrey Singer, who joined last year, was also given a pay rise for next year of 2%, taking his basic pay to £612,000 but he misses out on a car and chauffeur, according to the annual report.

The company also said it would be reviewing pension payouts to senior executives following widespread criticism throughout the corporate sector of bosses receiving far superior pension payouts compared to their staff.

Earlier this week, Mr Rowe revealed that M&S is speeding up its store closure plan, shutting 72 of its big stores, in addition to the 48 already closed.

It came as the company said underlying pre-tax profits fell 9.9% to £523.2 million for the year to March 30, down 9.9% from £580.9 million the previous year.

Mr Rowe said there were “green shoots” of a turnaround, but added that performance was not consistent and had been hit by its store closure programme and wide-ranging revamp plan.

The group warned that it remained in the “difficult early stages” of its turnaround and progress will largely not come until the second half of 2019-20.

Comparable sales in its troubled womenswear arm dropped 1.6%, with a 1.3% fall in the final three months after it was hit by the timing of Easter and poor stock availability.

Like-for-like sales in its food halls fell 2.3% following a 1.5% decline in the fourth quarter, although this was also affected by the timing of Easter.