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01 June 1999

Directors making whopping profits on share options
Company directors have been raking in huge profits from that favourite boardroom perk, the share option scheme, according to a survey by Labour Research magazine.

The Labour Research survey of the 50 largest companies in the FTSE 100 Stock Exchange companies, found that 43 directors at 19 companies hade made a profit of over ?100,000 in their comapny's latest financial year. This included five who picked up profits of between ?1 million and ?6.3 million.

The top five were:
* James Hynes, chair of telecoms group Colt, who took up options on nearly one million shares and immediately sold them for a ?6,388,465 profit.
* Dr George Poste, executive director and chief science and technology officer at pharmaceutical giant Smithkline Beecham, who in 1998 pocketed a ?5,621,474 profit.
* Alan Moore, deputy chair of Lloyds TSB bank, who took up five sets of options totalling almost 350,000 shares in 1998, banking a handsome profit of ?2,086,000.
* Bob Bauman, who retired from defence group British Aerospace's board in April 1998 but took with him his entitlement to 484,764 share options. He took these up in June that year, making a profit of ?1,892,325.
* Tony Schofield, who retired from the Royal Bank of Scotland in March 1998. He took up six sets of options totalling 213,752 shares and sold them all for a ?1,039,418 profit.

A total of 12 out of the 19 companies featured in the survey had more than one director making ?100,000 or more on share options. They included Marks and Spencer with seven directors, Legal and General (five), Glaxo Wellcome (four) and British Aerospace (three).

Notes to editors

Full details of the Labour Research survey of directors' profits from share option schemes are published in the June 1999 issue of the magazine. The price of a single copy is ?2.80 (?3.10 including postage).
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 88 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For more details contact Neal Moister on 0171 902 9818.
 

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