The chief executive of BAE Systems enjoyed a £1m pay rise last year, according to the defence company’s annual report.
A spokesman denied that the report had been “dripped out” after commentators on social media noted that the details were published 15 minutes into George Osborne’s budget speech.
Ian King’s pay deal rose to £3,519,000 in 2014 – a rise of almost 41% on his package the previous year.
While his base salary remained the same at £963,000, King’s bonus rose by over £450,000, based on company performance. The value of a share-based long-term investment plan (LTIP) pushed the overall package to well in excess of the £2,499,000 he received in 2013.
The pay package of the defence manufacturer’s finance director, Peter Lynas, increased by 12%, again due to a higher bonus and the value of an LTIP. In 2014, he was paid £2,003,000, up from £1,786,000 the previous year. Like King’s, Lynas’s salary was also unchanged, at £546,000.
In response to questions about the timing of the annual report’s publication, a BAE spokesman said it is released annually on the same Wednesday in the same week in March.
“It is not being dripped out at the end of the day,” the spokesman said. “Categorically I am stating that it has always been released at this time in this week and we are being nothing other than fully transparent in putting out [a regulatory stock market announcement] and another statement.”
The company announced a £1.5bn drop in sales last month. In his review of the year, King said the environment was “challenging but stabilising”. In the UK, he said the company had benefited from naval and air contracts at a time when there were constraints on public spending in some areas.
“Following the Scottish independence referendum in September, the people of Scotland decided to remain within the union. The decision was welcomed, removing uncertainty for the group’s employees and its business based in Scotland,” he said.
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