Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group calls on investors to back £100m staff bonus

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Mike Ashley’s retail empire Frasers has urged investors to back its staff bonus scheme worth potentially more than £100m at its annual shareholder meeting.

The group encompassing Sports Direct, Flannels, Evans Cycles and House of Fraser amongst others said the bonus scheme would be open to the “vast majority” of its 30,000 workers, who will receive either cash or share awards.

However, the payout will only be triggered if shares more than double within the next four years to at least £10 – and for a sustained period of time.

Frasers insisted the target for the share price – which currently sits at 363.8p – was “realistic”.

The company last made a bonus scheme payout to employees in 2017 when it shared a £43m pot, but that was only split between around 2,000 staff.

David Daly, non-executive chairman of Frasers Group, said: “This scheme strikes the right balance between rewarding as many of our people as possible whilst also potentially paying life-changing sums to those who make the most outstanding contributions.

“These are challenging times but we believe that a £10 share price is a realistic target as our elevation strategy continues to go from strength to strength.”

The scheme is dependent on employee length of service, with those having worked at the group for four years or more potentially in line for a cash bonus worth up to four weeks’ salary.

The so-called Fearless 1,000 would be entitled to possible share payouts, with the top 10 performers receiving awards worth a possible £1m while the remainder could pick up shares worth between £50,000 and £500,000.

The scheme will not include the group’s directors and consultants.

Cally Price, the Frasers Group workers’ representative to the board, said: “Our workforce is our lifeblood.

“I hope that all shareholders will recognise our efforts by voting to give my colleagues and I the opportunity to share in the future success of the company.”

The 2011 scheme saw the group pay out life-changing amounts to some workers, although Mr Ashley has faced criticism for his preference for zero-hours contracts.

Frasers’s full-year results in August showed revenues for the year to April 26 rose 6.9% to £3.96 billion, but pre-tax profits were down 12.9% to £101m.


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