Pressure mounts on Debenhams as shareholders told to revolt over pay

 
Helen Cahill
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British Retailer Debenhams Opens First Australian Store
Debenhams' share price plunged after its festive sales disappointed (Source: Getty)

An influential investor advisory group today told Debenhams’ shareholders to oppose the pay package of the firm’s chief executive Sergio Bucher.

Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) said the total potential pay for Debenhams’ executives was “excessive”, advising shareholders to vote against the retailer’s remuneration policy at its annual general meeting on Thursday.

Read more: Debenhams shares down 20 per cent on profit warning: How the City reacted

In addition, Pirc said that Debenhams’ long-term incentive share plans did not run for long enough, lasting for just three years, and that there was no period over which executives were expected to hold shares after they had vested.

A shareholder revolt for Debenhams’ would add to the department store’s woes after it unveiled a profit warning last week when it update the market on its disappointing trading over the Christmas period.

The group said its full-year profit would come in between £55m and £65m, down from expectations of around £83m, causing shares to plummet by 20 per cent.

Ratings agency Moody’s has since downgraded Debenhams, saying that trading conditions would remain volatile, and that demand was waning.

Debenhams declined to comment.

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