Executive pay-packets in the leisure and hospitality industry continued to rise at a meteoric rate last year despite the economic slowdown, with chief executives taking home an average of 33% more than they did in 2006.
According to the latest Pay for Performance Survey, an annual study of executive pay, the average chief executive salary was £503,380 with average earnings including bonus at £1,157,491.
The list analyses the annual reports of 20 companies including Enterprise Inns, JD Wetherspoon, Whitbread, Mitchells & Butlers, Punch Taverns, Compass Group, InterContinental Hotels Group, Domino's Pizza and Millennium & Copthorne.
Over the past five years, seven of the top chief executive roles in the hospitality sector have seen their pay rise by an average of 69%, with the highest earner being Compass Group chief executive Richard Cousins, who took home £2.23m in 2007.
Cousins was also the highest salary earner with a basic pay of £763,000, edging out Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group, who earned a salary of £732,000.
The lowest hospitality earner on the list was Domino's Pizza chief executive Chris Moore, who earned a basic salary of £200,000 in 2007, taking home £443,000 after bonuses.
Management consultant Janet Salmon, who compiles the annual report, said: "Leisure companies should have sustainable remuneration policies. When the economy slows, executive packages must be reduced and only exceptional performance should trigger major rewards."
By Christopher Walton
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