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£219,000 payout for ex-Optos chief

THE former finance director of Optos walked away with a near $346,000 (£218,696) payout when she left the business.

The Dunfermline company's annual report shows Christine Soden – who stepped down in June last year as she wanted to reduce her travel commitments – received the money in lieu of notice and as compensation for her loss of office.

Her replacement Louisa Burdett received a £92,000 payment to compensate her for shares she forfeited when leaving the Financial Times Group.

A further £45,000 payment is due to be made to Ms Burdett in July to cover shares which would have vested at that date.

Meanwhile chief executive Roy Davis saw his overall pay package dip from $738,000 to $673,000 due to a smaller bonus payment while chairman Peter Fellner saw his fees increase from $137,000 to $158,000.

Mr Davis said the money received by Ms Soden was what she was "contractually due".

Shares in Optos fell 1.5% to 193p yesterday after revenue in the three months to December 31 came in at $40.3m. This was 4% down on the $41.9m booked in the same period in 2011.

On an underlying basis revenue rose 18% due to greater sales of retinal scanning devices instead of rental contracts.

Outright device sales income grew from $9.5m to $17.6m while sales under finance leases dropped from $13.2m to $10.4m.

Servicing and warranty income was up from $2.6m to $6.4m while operating lease income came in at $5.9m, down from $16.6m.

The quarter, traditionally the group's weakest period, saw an increase of 274 new customers which was more than double the 114 brought in during 2011.

The installed base of devices has grown 5% to 4936 since the end of Optos's last financial year on September 30, 2012.

During that time, 267 of its next generation Daytona scanners – a lighter and more portable device – were installed in the first quarter to a mixture of new customers and existing clients wishing to upgrade.

Optos has agreed to supply 250 Daytona devices on a rental basis to a large corporate customer in the next 12 months.

Mr Davis said he was pleased with the new customer numbers and confirmed the company had a good sales pipeline in its order book.

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