April 2, 2019 / 3:14 PM / 3 months ago

Reckitt Benckiser CEO gets hefty 2018 pay rise after sales improve

LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) - Reckitt Benckiser’s Chief Executive Rakesh Kapoor got a 69 percent pay rise last year, following an improvement in the company’s performance after three tough years.

The British consumer goods maker said on Tuesday in its 2018 annual report that Kapoor received total compensation of 15.2 million pounds ($19.8 million) in 2018, up from 9.0 million in 2017. His 2017 package was originally set as 12.5 million pounds, but a subsequent drop in the company’s share price reduced the value of his vested shares.

Kapoor’s 2018 base salary stayed the same, but he received a bonus of 3.4 million pounds, which the company said reflected improved performance. In 2017 he got no bonus and saw his long-term incentive benefits halved.

The British maker of Durex condoms and Lysol cleaners was for years seen as a pace setter of growth for the consumer goods industry but struggled in 2017, due to a slowdown in its core consumer health business and pressure on pricing. It was also hit by a series of one-time issues including a cyber attack, a failed product launch and a safety scandal in South Korea.

Performance improved in 2018, with like-for-like sales growth coming in at 3 percent.

Kapoor, who is set to retire at the end of 2019, got a 3 percent increase in his base salary for 2019, in line with the average salary increase for the company’s UK workforce. He will not receive a 2019 long-term incentive plan (LTIP) award.

The company has yet to name a successor.

Reckitt also published its gender pay gap report on Tuesday and announced targets to publish such reports for its top five markets and to get more women into senior management roles.

$1 = 0.7674 pounds Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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