Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe was paid £1.6m in his first full year in charge, despite a 64% slump in profits.

Steve Rowe

Steve Rowe

Steve Rowe

Rowe, who was promoted to chief executive in April 2016, was handed a £599,000 bonus in addition to his £810,000 salary, according to the retailer’s annual report.

His pay package was completed by £234,000 in pensions and benefits.

Rowe’s remuneration for the year was less than the £2m former boss Marc Bolland took home during his last year in the role.

Bolland’s basic salary was also higher at £975,000.

Executive pay at M&S has been decreasing in recent years as the retailer faces into fierce competition on the high street, particularly in fashion.

Bolland was paid £5.9m in his first year at the helm, while his predecessor Lord Rose pocketed £4.3m.

Difficult year

Rowe’s £1.6m package was revealed at the end of a difficult year for M&S, in which the retailer axed hundreds of jobs and said it would shutter dozens of stores in the UK and overseas.

M&S is also lowering prices, driving full-price sales and growing its grocery store portfolio as Rowe bids to transform the high-street stalwart’s fortunes.

The retailer’s pre-tax profit tumbled from £488.8m to £176.4m during the 52 weeks to April 1 as its struggling clothing and home division suffered a 3.4% like-for-like slump.

Former Asda boss Archie Norman has been drafted in as chairman to aid Rowe’s turnaround efforts, while M&S has also poached Halfords chief executive Jill McDonald to take on the new role of managing director for clothing, home and beauty.