Patrick Coveney: pay rise

GREENCORE chief executive Patrick Coveney saw his pay rise by more than a third in the last year.

Coveney (40) was paid nearly €1.6m by the food company in the year to the end of September, according to Greencore's annual report. That's up from €1.1m in the previous 12-month period and makes the Corkman one of the highest-paid bosses of an Irish-quoted company.

Coveney was paid a basic salary of €670,000 and performance bonus of €644,000, the report said. Pension contributions and other perks made up the rest of his compensation.

Finance director Geoff Doherty saw his pay top €1m, compared with €757,000 in 2009. The head of Greencore's UK food division Di Walker earned €1.1m, up from €414,000 and the retiring chief operating officer Tony Hynes was paid €823,000, an increase of €214,000. Chairman Ned Sullivan saw his fees cut by €7,000 to €201,000.

Greencore last month said full-year operating profit rose 21% to €54.1m after 7% rise in sales.

The company is in the middle of a merger with the UK's Northern Foods, turning the former sugar processor into one of European's biggest ready meals and food producers. Coveney will head the merged business, which will be called Essenta Foods.