The boss of British American Tobacco received a 50 per cent hike to his pay package for 2016

Courtney Goldsmith
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A packet of Dunhill cigarettes made by B
Durante's pay hasn't quite reached the heights of his predecessor's in 2010 (Source: Getty)

Nicandro Durante, the chief executive of British American Tobacco (BAT), received about a 50 per cent pay increase for his work in 2016.

BAT's annual report today revealed Durante was paid £7.63m last year, up from £4.52m the previous year.

The increase was down to growth in both short and long-term incentives, including his annual performance-related bonus and a share award from 2014 worth £2.833m.

The boss of the tobacco giant will also bag a five per cent increase to his salary with effect from 1 April, taking it from £1.19m up to £1.25m, due to "outstanding performance in 2016, in particular his individual leadership of the business in the year and his pivotal role in driving the group’s growth agenda", the report said.

This year marked Durante's highest rate of pay since he joined the company in 2011. His pay package rose for second straight year from a low of £3.617m in 2014, but it hasn't yet touched the heights of his predecessor Paul Adams' pay, which in 2010 reached £8.858m.

BAT last month reported profits and revenue increased over 2016 as it strives to pump up its next generation product offerings.

The tobacco giant is in the midst of a deal to take over its US competitor Reynolds. The firm agreed to pay around $49.4bn (£39.5bn) for the 57.8 per cent of Reynolds it doesn't already own.

Durante today said: "Strategically, this deal will create a truly global business with a world-class portfolio of tobacco and next generation products that will be available across the most attractive markets in the world. Financially, it will be earnings accretive with enhanced cash generation while maintaining a solid investment grade credit rating."

The transaction expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.

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