Grafton’s top executives take 20% pay cut as coronavirus hits business

Chairman, non executive directors take voluntary reduction in fees

Gavin Stark: Grafton Group chief executive  voluntarily took a 20 per cent pay cut. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Gavin Stark: Grafton Group chief executive voluntarily took a 20 per cent pay cut. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Woodie’s owner Grafton Group said its top executives would take a temporary pay cut and suspend bonus schemes for the year as the company faces the impact of measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

Chief executive Gavin Slark and chief financial officer David Arnold have volunteered to take a temporary 20 per cent cut on their base salaries and pension contributions, and have also requested a suspension of the bonus scheme for 2020. Awards due under Grafton’s long-term incentive plan, scheduled to be granted in April 2020, will be postponed for further consideration by the group’s remuneration committee following the announcement of this year’s interim results.

Chairman Michael Roney and Grafton’s non-executive directors will also take a temporary 20 per cent cut to their fees. All reductions are effective immediately.

“The board believes that these measures are appropriate given that the Covid-19 virus will lead to a material decline in revenue and profitability over the coming months,” Grafton said in a statement.

The company had already flagged the potential impact on the business in an update issued on March 24th.

Grafton Group closed its Woodie’s DIY business in the Republic and scaled down the operations of its distribution business as a result of the Government’s restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19. It also closed its UK business for three weeks and said it would suspend a dividend payment to save €32 million as it faces an “inevitable” hit to profits.