Steep pay cuts for top management at Kerry

Chief executive Edmond Scanlon was paid €2.3m last year

Kerry chief financial officer Marguerite Larkin and chief executive Edmond Scanlon. Photograph: Alan Betson

Kerry chief financial officer Marguerite Larkin and chief executive Edmond Scanlon. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The pay packets of top management at food and ingredients giant Kerry Group were cut by up to 46 per cent last year, as the effects of the pandemic rampaged through its near-term bonus schemes.

Edmond Scanlon, the chief executive, saw his total pay packet fall by 42 per cent from just under €4 million to about €2.3 million. Most of the fall was attributable to the lack of a payout under its short-term incentive scheme, which had paid him €1.3 million the prior year.

Chief financial officer, Marguerite Larkin, recorded a 29 per cent drop in total pay to about €1.1 million. Meanwhile, US-based Gerry Behan, the chief executive of the group’s Taste and Nutrition division, saw his total pay decline 46 per cent to just under $2 million (€1.7 million).

All of the executive directors, along with the rest of the board, took a 25 per cent cut to their basic salary for three months during the pandemic.

Kerry’s annual report, which was released to shareholders on Friday afternoon, also laid out the details of a new pay policy for staff, which will be put to a vote at its upcoming agm. The changes include cutting Mr Scanlon and Ms Larkin’s pension payments from 18 per cent of salary to 10 per cent, bringing them in line with the rest of Kerry’s staff. It also increases by 50 per cent the amount payable to the chief executive under a long-term incentive scheme and tightens the rules around bonus clawback.

Shares awarded

The group’s three executive directors were awarded €2.2 million in shares this week, under its incentive plans.

Kerry, which recorded a 4 per cent drop in sales last year to €7 billion, said in its annual report that its operations recovered well in the second half of the year. It proposed a final dividend of 60.6 cents per share, increasing its total dividend for 2020 by 10 per cent.

It said that volumes fell 2 per cent in its consumer foods division last year during the pandemic, as consumers’ “shopping habits became more functional”. It said this had boosted some of its product lines, however, such as snack items like Cheestrings and Fridge Raiders.

The company came under pressure from short sellers in February, who released a report suggesting it had overpaid for acquisitions, which the company denied. Kerry spent €280 million on buyouts in 2020.