Thames Water hands its execs bonuses despite profit slump

Marion Dakers
THAMES Water has come under fire for paying its top executives close to their maximum bonuses this year in spite of hosepipe bans, declining profits and complaints about its customer service.

Boss Martin Baggs was paid £896,000 in the year, including a £418,000 bonus – or 87.7 per cent of his maximum payout. This figure does not include long-term share awards that paid out in the year.

Baggs was paid six per cent less than in 2011.

Former chief operating officer Stephen Shine was awarded £709,000 for the year to March and chief financial officer Stuart Siddall landed £369,000, having joined the firm in September.

Shine can expect another payday in July, when long-term share awards worth £385,000 vest.

While the firm insisted that the remuneration “reflected strong company performance and delivery of key strategic initiatives”, the GMB said the payments were “a reward for failure”.

The payouts were revealed as the firm admitted that underlying profit before tax had fallen 12.6 per cent to £182.2m in the year to 31 March, while turnover rose 4.4 per cent to £1.69bn.

Chairman Sir Peter Mason said “the way the company handles queries and complaints is rated poorly when compared with the rest of the sector”.

GMB national secretary Gary Smith said: “It is an absolute outrage. This money came from the hard earned income of hard pressed householders.”