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Property boss saw pay tumble in 2020 as shares took a Covid hit

IRES Reit’s Margaret Sweeney’s pay cut to €632,000 from €1.037m

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Pay cut: Margaret Sweeney of IRES Reit

Pay cut: Margaret Sweeney of IRES Reit

Pay cut: Margaret Sweeney of IRES Reit

The head of the country’s biggest residential landlord, IRES Reit, saw her overall pay cut by around 40pc last year.

A €1.037m pay package for 2019 had pushed Margaret Sweeney into the upper ranks of Irish CEOs with basic pay of €400,000 and more than €550,000 in bonuses.

However, for 2020 that total package dropped to €632,000.

Ms Sweeney’s basic pay was unchanged as were additional expenses (€25,000) and pension contribution (€60,000).

The combined total of cash and deferred bonuses for 2020 fell to €147,000, according to an annual report just published.

That was despite IRES coming through the pandemic without seeing a significant spike in rent arrears, a rise in property values and with occupancy levels at 98.4pc.

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Property: IRES has apartments for rent in The Maples, Sandyford

Property: IRES has apartments for rent in The Maples, Sandyford

Property: IRES has apartments for rent in The Maples, Sandyford

The dip in bonus was largely down to the listed property firm’s shares, which plunged in the early phase of the first lockdown in spring 2020.

The shares fell from €1.83 each in December 2019 to €1 each by March last year.

Although the stock did recover from that low in the second half of last year it was still below €1.60 a share by the end of 2020.

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According to the annual report, that was the key driver of the CEO bonus.

“For 2020, 80pc of annual bonus for the CEO was determined by financial performance measures and 20pc was based on strategic objectives,” the report states.

The shares closed at €1.586 yesterday in Dublin.

IRES had 3,834 Irish homes in its rental portfolio at the start of 2021, overwhelmingly in Dublin with 50 in Cork.

The mix of mainly two- and three-bed units had an average monthly rent of €1,624 as at December 31, 2020.

The properties are mainly apartments with a handful of houses in the Dublin commuter belt.


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