AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) chief executive Pascal Soriot, saw his pay package soar by almost 70 percent last year, the company has disclosed. The rise was triggered by a number of long-term incentive plans and other rewards.
AstraZeneca’s share price has been little changed in London this morning, having dipped 0.03 percent to 4,715.00p as of 09:13 GMT, as compared with a 0.12-percent fall in the benchmark FTSE 100 index. The group’s shares have gained more than 16 percent over the past year, and are up by some six percent in the year-to-date.
AstraZeneca disclosed in its annual report yesterday that its chief executive Pascal Soriot’s pay package had surged to £13.39 million last year, marking a 68-percent rise on the £7.96 million paid for 2015. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker explained that Soriot’s pay package included £6.91 million as part of a long-term incentive plan and a further payment of £3.62 million in compensation for bonuses he forfeited when he left Swiss rival Roche in 2012.
Last year, AstraZeneca faced a shareholder revolt over its chief executive’s pay package. A spokeswoman for the Anglo-Swedish group, however, told The Times that the company had support from 90 percent of voting shareholders for its pay report at last April’s meeting and added that between January 2013 and last month total shareholder return outperformed the biggest FTSE 100 companies.
AstraZeneca’s annual report comes after the blue-chip pharmco updated investors on its full-hear performance last month, posting a drop in sales and warning that earnings and revenues will continue to decline this year, amid generic competition on its top-selling drug Crestor. The company, however, believes that it is about to turn a corner this year as it brings new treatments to market.
In analyst ratings, Barclays initiated coverage of AstraZeneca with an ‘overweight’ rating today, valuing the shares at 6,000p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip pharmco currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 5,003.82p.