Centrica chief executive Iain Conn received 44 per cent pay rise in 2018 after being awarded two £388,000 bonuses, the company’s annual report has revealed.
His total pay packet for the year was £2.4 million compared to £1.7 million in 2017. His base salary increased by £4,000 to £940,000.
The bonuses were awarded despite Centrica reporting a “mixed” performance in its preliminary financial results in February.
Group revenue increased 6 per cent to £29.7 billion and adjusted operating profit by 12 per cent to £1.4 billion. However, adjusted operating profit from its UK Home division fell 18 per cent to £668 million after the supplier lost nearly a quarter of a million customer accounts over the course of 2018.
Conn has overseen a major cost-cutting drive since joining the company at the start of 2015. As part of this Centrica announced 4,000 fresh job losses last year. At the time, the company said this would bring the total job losses between 2015 and 2020 to 9,500, although this would be offset somewhat by the creation of 2,000 new positions.
According to the latest annual report, Centrica’s overall headcount fell by more than 2,600 in 2018, saving the company £248 million. Conn said the group’s annual costs have already been slashed by nearly £1 billion since 2015. He said it is aiming to cut yearly spending by another £750 million by 2021, with £250 million of savings being delivered in 2019.
Last week, the British Gas owner warned that 500 jobs in the UK are at risk due to the introduction of the price cap on default tariffs in January.
Commenting on Conn’s performance, the report says: “Progress has been made on many fronts against a multi-faceted strategy to entirely reshape the group, with the challenge of a constantly shifting operating environment.
“Iain has shown significant resilience in the face of this challenge and has led the business through the shifting context, keeping the strategic objectives in sight and ensuring that the organisation remains adaptable and innovative. Good progress has also been made in building the necessary capabilities to meet the group’s future needs.”
“Overall, Iain has demonstrated exceptional leadership during the year,” it adds. “However, delivery has been behind the expectations of the market despite relatively attractive in-year [total shareholder return] performance.”
Centrica’s share price, which currently stands at around 110p, has fallen more than 60 per cent since Conn became chief executive.
Five-year share history