Sports Direct to pay staff £150m in shares bonus

 
Kasmira Jefford
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THOUSANDS of Sports Direct employees are set to share in a bonus pool worth over £150m after the sports retail giant posted record profits.

Around 2,000 staff will next month receive an average of 12,000 shares each as part of a 2009 bonus scheme that – at yesterday’s share price – will be worth around £75,000 per person.

The retailer, owned by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, said it has now also cleared two of four financial targets under a further 2011 scheme for around 3,000 staff.

Pre-tax profits leapt 40 per cent £207.2 on revenues up 20.9 per cent to £2.2bn in the year to 28 April.

But despite what chief executive Dave Forsey described as a “record-breaking year” the group decided not to propose a dividend.

Sports Direct said it has also decided not to propose the “super-stretch” bonus scheme for Ashley at its upcoming annual meeting and will instead look at other ways to reward him.

The group said online revenues jumped 52.1 per cent and now account for 15 per cent of total sales, while sales at stores open more than a year grew 11.2 per cent.