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Weir Group chief sees pay plummet after profits fall

WEIR Group chief executive Keith Cochrane saw his pay for last year fall by more than half after a drop in profits at the Glasgow-based pumps specialist.

Weir Group's annual report published yesterday evening revealed the former Stagecoach chief executive received nearly £1.7 million for the 53 weeks to January 4. This compared to £3.4m for the 12 months to December 31, 2012.

Mr Cochrane took £718,750 in basic pay with another £21,656 in benefits, including life insurance, private medical cover and a £17,000 car allowance.

But his annual bonus was slashed to £108,750 from £568,584 the previous year because Weir announced a 5% fall in underlying pre-tax profits to £418m for the year. This was below the £425m threshold for financial performance, which accounted for 80% of the potential annual bonus.

Of the remaining 20% of the possible bonus, which was obtainable through personal performance, Mr Cochrane achieved 10%.

Of the resulting £108,750 pay-out, 30% was given in shares, which he is restricted from selling for the next three years.

Mr Cochrane reaped £820,417 from long-term incentive schemes, against nearly £2.1m the previous year.

He had the opportunity to receive the equivalent of 100% of salary from a performance share scheme plus a similar amount from a matching share scheme.

While earnings growth has been strong over the past three years, the company failed to meet share price targets, so only 42.8% of Mr Cochrane's share award vested and is available for him to sell.

Last year, Weir's equipment orders were hit by weakness in the minerals market and oversupply in the US fracking sector. But the impact was muted by strong after-sales.

Mr Cochrane joined Weir as finance director in July 2006 and was appointed chief executive in November 2009.

Following a number of years with Arthur Andersen, Mr Cochrane joined rail and bus group Stagecoach in 1993 and rose to be chief executive in 2000. But he left two years later as it struggled in the US.

He was returned to corporate life at ScottishPower in 2003, where he became finance director.

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