Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ashley in Line for Pounds 17m Payout after Sales Drive

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ashley in Line for Pounds 17m Payout after Sales Drive

Article excerpt

Byline: Iain Laing

TRADING over the first three months of 2012 will be in the spotlight next week when Barclays and GlaxoSmith Kline start the City's results season.

Barclays boss Bob Diamond may have eased some concerns over his pay by changing the terms of his 2011 bonus but the chief executive is still likely to face shareholder ire over a pounds 5.7m tax payment at the bank's annual meeting next Friday.

The American banker agreed last week not to receive half of his pounds 2.7m all-shares bonus for 2011 if certain performance targets are not met within three years.

But the move did not address previously-awarded long-term incentives and a pounds 5.7m tax payment made when Diamond moved from the US to London, which push his total pay package to more than pounds 17m.

While the likes of Standard Life said they will now back the bank's remuneration report, other major investors and small shareholders are likely to hit out at the AGM.

A day earlier, Barclays is forecast by Credit Suisse to provide some cheer for shareholders as it reveals a 10% rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 1.83bn for the three months to the end of March, on the back of flat group revenues of around pounds 7.6bn.

The group's heavily-weighted investment banking arm Barclays Capital is expected to report a 2% dip in revenues to around pounds 3.2bn as the division benefited from moves by the European Central Bank to stave off another financial crisis. Drugs giant GlaxoSmith Kline is set to reveal a return to sales growth in the first three months of the year, despite over-the-counter drugs and consumer brands coming under pressure from the tough economic climate.

Sales of Panadol painkillers and Gaviscon heartburn treatment, as well as drinks Lucozade, Ribena and Horlicks, have all suffered at the hands of the spending squeeze and increased competition from supermarket own brands.

But the pharmaceutical firm is expected to reveal a 2% rise in first-quarter revenues to pounds 6. …

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