Lush managers received £5m in bonuses last year after the retailer claimed £5.1m in state support and reported a 90% drop in profits, The Guardian reported.
The bonuses were paid on top of the salaries given to directors, which include co-founder Mark Constantine, his wife Mo and six staff at Lush Cosmetics – the retailer’s main operating company that runs its manufacturing site in Poole and 886 stores worldwide.
It comes as the retailer is currently involved in a battle with its former chief executive Andrew Gerrie over his attempts to sell his shares in the business.
According to Gerrie, his stake is now held through an investment firm which he co-owns called Silverwood Brands.
If Lush had distributed its profits via a dividend instead of a bonus, it would have had to pay a share to Gerrie.
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Lush has opposed Gerrie’s attempts to sell his stake and on Thursday, it was revealed that the retailer had filed a new action in the high court in an attempt to prove the transfer of shares to Silverwood Brands was not legitimate.
According to its latest company accounts, ordinary employees across Lush and its sister company Cosmetic Warries received £1.4m in bonuses last year.
The retailer said its staff members, excluding the directors and managed, were paid an additional £14m in bonuses in 2022.
It comes as Lush’s pre-tax profits plummeted 90% to £1.7m, down from £29.2m, in the year to 30 June 2022.
Sales for the period edged up 5% to £430.8m, with UK sales up 2% to £285bn.
The retailer said revenue in the second half fell “well short of expectations” due to inflationary pressures impacting consumer spending and sentiment.
Lush received £5.1m in government financial support last year, most of which was in the form of business rates relief.