File image: The Johannesburg Stock Exchange. (File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko).
JOHANNESBURG - Investment holding company Brait has increased remuneration for its non-executive directors by 8.02percent in the year to the end of March 2018.

The non-executive directors were paid a total of £754000 (R13.64million) during the year, up from £693000 compared with last year, according to the group’s annual report.

The group’s chairperson, Jabu Moleketi, was paid £171000 in total fees, up by 3.64percent compared with £165000 last year.

The group said its remuneration committee had a charter and was primarily responsible for the remuneration strategy for the group, and it met regularly to consider annual reviews, remuneration issues, incentives and policy matters.

“It comprises a minimum of three members, and directors' fees are based on an assessment of each director's time commitment, responsibilities, skills and experience in rendering their services on the board as committee members,” the group said. It said non-executive directors did not have service agreements.

“Letters of appointment confirm the terms and conditions of their service. Remuneration packages of the directors are agreed and determined by the remuneration committee,” the group explained.

Independent non-executive director Chris Seabrooke was the next best-paid director in the board, with an annual package of £128000 in total fees, marginally up from £124000 he received a year ago.

Brait’s investments include clothing retailer New Look, gym chain Virgin Active, British supermarket Iceland Foods and Premier.

In the year to end March, the group said New Look continued to disappoint as it struggled to compete in the tough UK market.

Its revenue declined by 7.3percent on the comparative period, with group like-for-like sales declining by 11.4percent, with UK like-for-like sales decreasing by 11.7percent.

Underperformance

The group pinned New Look’s underperformance to a number of issues, which include its product positioning had moved away from its successful broad appeal, and it chased e-commerce sales at the expense of profitability.

As a result, its net asset value per share dropped to R57.32 a share at the end of March, down from last year’s R78.15 a share.

However, Virgin Active delivered better performance by reporting a profitable growth combined with a strengthened balance sheet.

Virgin Active comprised 233 clubs in eight countries at the end of December, consisting of 1.2million members.

Premier’s Ebitda increased by 13percent on a sixth-month period.

In Iceland Foods, the group said in the UK food retail market that has remained intensely competitive and price focused, Iceland’s sales for the 53 weeks to end March grew by 8percent, with like-for-like sales up 2.3percent.

Brait shares fell 0.31percent to close at R42.45 on the JSE yesterday.

- BUSINESS REPORT