Monday 16 December 2019 1:01 pm

Mike Ashley mulls £100m staff bonus scheme

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley revealed that his business, which today rebranded as Frasers Group, is mulling a £100m share bonus scheme for employees. 

The proposals are at an early stage, but the scheme would only be open to full-time employees and would not include staff members on zero-hour contracts, Ashley said today. 

Read more: Sports Direct shares soar as profit jumps

Ashley said the company was considering putting the three-year scheme proposal, which would be tied to share price performance, before investors at the next annual general meeting in September. 

Speaking after the company posted its interim results this morning, Ashley said: “We would like to have a £100m pot…we would probably like to see 50 millionaires and 500 people get £100 grand each.”

Sports Direct’s share price has surged this morning after the company posted a jump in profit in the first half of the year, driven by an increase in premium lifestyle sales due to new Flannels stores and a full-period contribution from House of Fraser. 

In a statement this morning chairman David Daly said the company was beginning to see “green shoots of recovery” at the beleaguered department store.

The company said it was likely that more House of Fraser stores would close next year, although Ashley refused to disclose the number of branches that might be affected. 

Shareholders also voted today to abandon the name Sports Direct International and rebrand as Frasers Group, signalling Ashley’s attempts to create a more up-market reputation for the company. 

The firm said today that its elevation strategy is “now paying dividends”.

Frasers Group head of elevation Michael Murray, said: “The group is evolving dramatically, moving us away from what was our core focus on sports.  

“With the business now looking and feeling so different – with new product ranges, brand propositions and an increased focus on luxury – it was clear that we had to look at our plc brand and assess whether it was appropriate as we elevate the business.  

“For us the logical next step was to change the name and logo to reflect our aspiration.”