Sports Direct boss could get £12m bonus

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NEWCASTLE United owner Mike Ashley is being lined up for a £12m shares windfall after his Sports Direct chain reported more robust trading today.

The group, which has 397 stores and owns brands including Slazenger, Donnay and Karrimor, said underlying earnings rose two per cent to £139.2m in the 26 weeks to October 23, keeping it on track for a full-year haul of £215m.

That is a key milestone for the staff bonus scheme, but under proposals announced today the chain’s executive deputy chairman, who currently receives no pay, stands to be granted six million shares, currently worth about £12m, in 2018 if the group achieves £225m this year and further stretching targets over the following two years.

Mr Ashley netted £929m in a single day in February 2007 after selling 43 per cent of the business he founded.

The group said retail revenues increased 8.2 per cent to £697.1m after a strong performance in an “especially fragile consumer environment”.