Ashley in line for a Sports Direct bonus

Kasmira Jefford
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SPORT DIRECT’s majority owner Mike Ashley could be in line for a £12m shares windfall if the sporting goods retailer meets a series of targets over the next four years.

Under new proposals Ashley, who currently receives no pay for his role as executive deputy chairman, stands to be granted 6m shares if the group achieves a target of £225m in earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (Ebitda) this year.

The proposed “Super-Stretch” bonus scheme, which will be voted on by shareholders next year, must hit more demanding targets than the £215m milestone for this year’s staff bonus scheme.

News of the scheme came as Sports Direct reported a two per cent rise in underlying earnings to £139.2m in the 26 weeks to 23 October, compared with £136.5m the year before.

The company, which owns Sports World and Lillywhites stores as well as brands including Slazenger, said revenues rose 8.4 per cent to £888.6m, with a strong performance across all of its divisions.

Dave Forsey, chief executive, said the strong performance was delivered against both a tough FIFA World Cup comparison last year and “an especially fragile consumer environment”.

“The board remains very confident of reaching our full year Ebitda target of £215m [before bonus scheme costs] and we believe our employee bonus share scheme continues to underpin our performance,” he said.