Woolworths bosses score massive R255 million payday

 ·2 Oct 2023

Woolworths released its annual remuneration report for 2023 – revealing how much the retailer’s top execs earned over the last financial year.

In its financial results for the full year ending on 30 June 2023, Woolworths showed strong growth as its financial performance improved on the back of the sale of embattled Australian retailer David Jones.

“The disposal of David Jones is a major milestone in repositioning our group for growth. As a result of this transaction, we have unlocked R7.7 billion in value for shareholders since 2022, and more importantly, can now reallocate both our capital and management attention towards the more value-accretive initiatives across the group’s core Woolworths and Country Road Group businesses,” Woolworths said.

Attributable headline earnings after tax were recorded at R4.74 billion (2022: R3.83 billion).

Across the group’s entire operations, earnings per share (EPS) increased from 381.4 cents in FY22 to 542.0 cents in FY23, whilst headline earnings per share (HEPS) grew from 398.9 cents to 514.7 cents.

Thus, the board upped its total dividend by 36.4% from 229.5 cents in FY22 to 313.0 cents in FY23:

FinancialFY22FY23% change
EPS381.4 cents542.0 cents42.1%
HEPS398.9 cents514.7 cents29.0%
Dividend229.5 cents313.0 cents36.5%

Executive pay

According to Woolworths’ single-figure report, CEO Roy Bagattini’s pay amounted to R122.47 million in 2023 – a 239% increase from the R36.13 million he received in 2022.

He earned R90.6 million for work in South Africa and was paid AUD$2.6 million (R31.8 million) as he spent some time in Australia, where the group’s clothing chain Country Road is located.

Bagattini’s remuneration comprised a guaranteed pay of R20.4 million, short-term annual incentives (STIs) of R28 million, long-term share options awarded three years ago that amounted to R66.7 million and R7.1 million in share dividends.

Bagattini’s salary equates to him earning around R335,529 a day.

Woolworths noted, however, that the increase in Roy’s total disclosed single-figure remuneration reflects the combination of increased variable pay following the Group’s outperformance in the 2023 financial year, paying STIs on the back of a reinstated 100% bonus pool, 25% vesting of his sign-on RSPs following the achievement of the strategic deliverables, and 100% vesting of LTI rolling allocations allocated in 2020.

The Group noted that Bagattini was appointed as Group CEO in February 2020. As previously reported, Bagattini was awarded a sign-on grant of RSP shares upon his appointment, partly to compensate him for remuneration that he forfeited from his previous employer but mainly for the achievement of key strategic deliverables that were agreed upon upfront with the Board.

The group’s COO, Sam Ngumeni, took home R97.14 million for the year – a 323% increase from the R22.94 million he received in 2022.

Of Woolworths’ top executives, Reeza Isaacs took home the ‘smallest’ amount among the executives at R36.27 million – increasing by 99.3% from 2022.

However, Isaacs, the Group FD, left the Group effective 30 June 2023 to pursue other interests. The committee considered both STI and LTI schemes in determining the remuneration he would be entitled to as a result of his departure.

It was agreed that he would receive a moderated STI for 2023 based on the financial performance of the Group and the final decision of the WHL Remuneration and Talent Management Committee.

Combined, the three executives received a total of R255.88 million in salaries. The table below shows what each executive earned and how that translates per day.

ExecutiveTotal RemunerationAverage per day
Roy BagattiniR122 468 000R335 529
Sam NgumeniR97 136 000R266 126
Reeza IsaacsR36 273 000R99 378
TotalR255 877 000R791 033

Read: R470,000 a day for 9 years – Bob van Dijk’s insane pay as Naspers CEO

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