April 10, 2014 / 9:31 AM / 4 years ago

Next boss hands 4 mln stg bonus to staff

LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - The boss of Next, Britain’s second-biggest clothing retailer, is to hand his 4 million pound ($6.70 million) bonus to the company’s staff, sharing it amongst them as a 1.5 percent boost to their annual salaries.

Next’s chief executive, Simon Wolfson cited the company’s strong performance for his decision to share the annual award with Next’s 20,000 staff, the second time he has done so.

Over the last three years, the retailer’s profits per share have grown 65 percent and its share price has trebled.

“As a result of these exceptional gains, my share matching plan (SMP) bonus has become more valuable than I could possibly have hoped. I am also in the very fortunate position to have significantly benefited as a shareholder,” Wolfson, who sits in Britain’s upper house of Parliament, said in the letter.

“In these circumstances, instead of accepting the award, I have asked the board if they will share it amongst all those who have worked for the company during the three year SMP qualifying period.”

The bonus would be paid in May to all employees who have worked with the firm since April 28, 2011.

In March, Next posted a 12 percent rise in annual profits to 695.2 million pounds, driven by booming sales at its online business - a figure likely to top that of rival Marks & Spencer for the first time.

Shares in Next were up 1 percent to 6,520 pence at 0905 GMT, having risen 56 percent in a year, valuing the company at around 10 billion pounds. ($1 = 0.5971 British Pounds) (Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by Sarah Young)

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