Centrica bosses pocket pot of £16.4m in 2012

EXECUTIVES at energy giant Centrica took home a combined £16.4m in salary and bonuses, it was revealed in the FTSE firm’s annual report yesterday.

Chief executive Sam Laidlaw took home almost £5m in total – including a £950,000 salary, £2.6m in long-term incentives, more than £1m in annual and deferred cash bonuses and £356,000 in other benefits – which was broadly flat from 2011.

British Gas chief executive Phil Bentley, who is due to stand down in June, earned just over £3m last year, up more than £1m from 2011.

Bentley’s total remuneration includes a salary of £635,000, and more than £1.5m of long-term incentives that will pay out next month. Bentley also took home £635,000 in annual cash bonuses and £271,000 in other cash benefits.

Finance director Nick Luff walked away with £2.8m last year, while head of Centrica Energy Mark Hanafin took home £2.6m.

Chris Weston, who currently runs Centrica’s US retail business but will soon be head of British Gas, saw his total pay packet reach £2.9m, up from £2.8m in 2011.

There was no increase in the executive directors’ base salary, meaning it has been maintained at the same level since 2010, Centrica said.

Centrica’s remuneration plans were approved by 88 per cent of investors at last year’s AGM, with 12 per cent voting against.

The bumper payouts come as UK gas prices hit record highs as the extended cold snap, coal plant closures and supply disruptions in Norway puts pressure on supply.

Centrica itself has moved to diversify its energy mix in a bid to tackle supply problems. Earlier this week it signed a 20-year shale gas deal with the US, which will provide the gas equivalent to power 1.8m homes.