LONDON, April 25 AstraZeneca
shareholders have protested against executive pay at Britain's
second biggest drugmaker, with 38.54 percent of votes cast at
its annual meeting opposing the company's remuneration report.
The voting results from the meeting were released late on
"We are disappointed with the vote and it is our priority to
carefully analyse it and talk to our shareholders to fully
understand any concerns," a company spokeswoman said.
Prior to the meeting, AstraZeneca had received only limited
feedback from shareholders on the topic of remuneration, she
Chief Executive Pascal Soriot received a total pay package
of 3.34 million pounds ($5.6 million) in 2013, down from 3.69
million in 2012.
Some investors are concerned at the steep fall in sales and
profits at the drugmaker, which is facing the loss of patent
protection on many of its most important medicines.
Soriot replaced previous CEO David Brennan following
investor dissatisfaction with his performance and the incoming
Frenchman has been credited by many analysts with improving the
pipeline of new drugs.
Although turning around the group's financial performance
will take several years, optimism about its line-up of
experimental drugs - notably in cancer - has driven a rally in
the share price in the past year. The stock hit a record high on
Thursday after it reported first-quarter results, amid
speculation of a possible bid from Pfizer.
($1 = 0.5953 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Holmes)