$600k pay boost for Port chief

OLIVIA CARVILLE
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012

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The head of a largely council-owned Christchurch company has received a $600,000 boost to his pay package.

Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) chief executive Peter Davie's remuneration package more than doubled in the past financial year, climbing from about $430,000 in 2010/11 to just over $1 million in 2011/12.

Davie declined to comment on the topic yesterday. "I'm not talking on that issue. It's not my issue to talk about," he said.

Lyttelton Port suffered extensive damage in the earthquakes. The Press understands the port insurance bill is estimated at $500m.

LPC chairman Rodger Fisher was reluctant to discuss Davie's income jump, saying the company's shareholders had already raised questions on the rise at the annual meeting this month. However, he said Davie's pay package was made up of a base salary, short-term incentives and a one-off long-term incentive plan based on shareholder return.

"It's not an increase," he said.

The long-term incentive scheme was based on the chief executive's performance over a three-year period.

This was the first year it had been paid out, he said.

"You either achieve it or you don't and this was the first year he had achieved that," he said.

Fisher would not provide a breakdown of the $600,000 package jump or disclose the chief executive's base salary, saying it was "not for public information".

Davie's annual salary was "certainly not high", he said.

"An organisation that had been badly impacted by the earthquake actually achieved significant increase in volume and at the same time achieved a 40 per cent, or thereabouts, increase in profitability. That is why he achieved certain targets . . . and that is why there was a long-term incentive."

While the company reported a reduced net profit of $17.2m, down from $24.1m in the 2011 financial year, it increased its revenues by 14.1 per cent, the company's 2012 annual report shows.

Bruce Irvine, chairman of Christchurch City Holdings, the investment arm of the council, said Davie's package increase was "fully explained" by LPC.

"I have no concerns about the rise, given that there was a three-year incentive there."

The remuneration package was expected to fall "back to a more normal level" next year, he said.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said last night some people may be "disappointed" with Davie's accepting such a significant package boost.

"Our community has expressed some concerns about the level of remuneration chief executives receive."

LPC is 79.53 per cent owned by the council, 15.48 per cent by the Port of Otago and the remainder is owned by smaller shareholders.

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- The Press

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