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Tesco's 10 million pound man - CEO's annual pay package doubles

FILE PHOTO: Tesco CEO Ken Murphy poses for a portrait outside a Tesco store in Britain

LONDON (Reuters) - The boss of Tesco, Britain's largest supermarket group, saw his pay package more than double to almost 10 million pounds ($12.6 million) in its 2023/24 financial year, a period when millions of its customers battled a cost of living crisis.

Tesco's annual report, published on Tuesday, showed chief executive Ken Murphy was paid 9.93 million pounds in the year to Feb. 24 2024, up from 4.44 million pounds in 2022/23.

The package was made up of fixed pay of 1.64 million pounds, an annual bonus of 3.38 million pounds and a Performance Share Plan (PSP) payout of 4.91 million pounds.

Chief financial officer Imran Nawaz's pay package also more than doubled to 4.95 million pounds.

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"A large proportion of the total package has been achieved thanks to both Ken Murphy and Imran Nawaz achieving stretching targets in a highly competitive sector and working to create value for customers, colleagues, suppliers, communities and shareholders," Tesco said.

The retailer added that it "remains committed to a competitive and fair reward package for all colleagues," noting it invested a record 300 million pounds in a pay rise for UK hourly-paid workers, and also enhanced staff benefits.

UK consumers saw food inflation hit a 45-year high of 19.2% in March 2023. It had fallen to 4% in March this year, according to official data.

Last month, Tesco reported an 11% rise in annual profit to 2.76 billion pounds as it won market share. It forecast further growth in 2024/25.

Its shares are up 15% year-on-year.

Investors will vote on Tesco's annual pay report at its annual shareholder meeting on June 14.

Research published last August showed the bosses of Britain's biggest companies saw their pay jump 16% in 2022, sending their average earnings to 118 times the median UK full-time worker's while employees struggled with soaring inflation.

($1 = 0.7955 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Mark Potter)