Fashion retailer Jigsaw has paid out £493k to its staff as part of a company stock plan launched last year to incentivise staff.

Around 600 employees who had been with the firm for more than a year were gifted at least one share each under the loyalty scheme. Just before Christmas, these paid out a dividend of £400 each, This is Money reported.

The share plan was introduced by Jigsaw boss Peter Ruis, a former fashion chief at John Lewis who joined the firm in 2013.

Jigsaw paid out £1.6m of dividends in total.

Jigsaw also reported its full year results for the year ending October 1, 2016.

UK EBITDA rose 11% to £6.2m while group EBITDA was up 8% to £5.8m.

This was driven by a strong performance in the US but negatively affected by the cost of buying back the licence for its Australian business, where sales soared 231%.

At a group level, turnover increased 8% to £95m and online sales shot up 20%, with ecommerce now accounting for one fifth of sales.

Jigsaw has opened six stores in its current year and will open in East Dulwich, Ilkley, Kings Cross, Lewes and Rushden Lakes by the end of the year. 

Chief executive Peter Ruis said: “In a year of huge political change and corresponding customer distraction, Jigsaw has continued to move successfully forward.”

Over the Christmas period, Jigsaw’s sales rose 10%, with the retailer maintaining its full-price offer.

The retailer, which operates 77 UK stores and 48 concessions, recently launched in House of Fraser stores and began selling on the department chain’s website.