20% pay hike for IN&M’s O’Reilly

INDEPENDENT News & Media chief executive Tony O’Reilly received a 20% pay hike last year.

The company’s 2007 annual report shows Mr O’Reilly was paid a total of €2.2 million last year.

Mr O’Reilly, who was yesterday named as media person of the year at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, was paid a basic salary of €980,000 and a performance bonus of €750,000. The rest of his pay consisted of pension contributions of €450,000 and other perks and fees.

The total amount paid to IN&M directors, rose to €11.6 million in 2007 from €10.5m in 2006.

Pre-tax profits at Independent fell by €1.7m to €248.4m in 2007. The company took a €37.7m hit to cover a cost reduction programme. Revenues grew 2% to €1.67 billion.

After Mr O’Reilly, the next highest paid director was Brendan Hopkins, whose pay rose to €2.04m from €1.92m. Mr Hopkins runs APN News & Media, the Australian company in which IN&M has a 40% stake.

Ivan Fallon, who runs Independent’s British operations, saw his pay rise from €1.43m to €1.66m.

Gavin O’Reilly, the company’s chief operating officer and Mr O’Reilly’s son, saw his pay rise to €1.53m from €1.4m.

The head of the company’s Irish titles, Vincent Crowley, received €1.4m, a rise of €141,000.

Chief financial officer Donal Buggy’s pay rose €142,000 to €1.15m.

Independent’s chairman Brian Hillery saw his fees for the year fall by €1,000 to €154,000. Liam Healy, the company’s former chief executive, was paid €375,000 for his role as a non-executive director.

Independent’s AGM will be held in London this year, to reflect the significant number of international investors, a spokesman for the company said.

At last year’s explosive AGM, Denis O’Brien, IN&M’s second largest investor published a report accusing the firm of poor corporate governance.


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