Next boss Lord Wolfson’s pay package was more than halved after the fashion giant suffered declining profits for the first time in eight years.

Wolfson missed out on his annual bonus as his total pay package slumped 58% to £1.8m in the year to January 28 – down from £4.3m in the previous 12 months.

According to Next’s annual report, remuneration for its board almost halved as all directors missed out on their annual bonuses amid disappointing full-year results.

The high street bellwether’s pre-tax profit slipped 3.8% to £790.2m – below its central guidance of £792m – in the year to January 31.

Next Retail sales dropped 2.9% as profits from its store estate dropped 15.8% to £338.7m.

Online competition intensifies

Wolfson warned that the business faced further “external headwinds” in the year ahead, as shoppers spend less on clothes and more on experiences and competition online continues to intensify.

Despite its decline in performance, Next’s directors were awarded a payout in recognition of the retailer’s long-term shares and earnings performance during the three years to January 31.

Wolfson was handed £606,000 in shares in addition to his basic pay, although that award was down from £2.2m the prior year.

According to the annual report, Wolfson could earn up to £3.95m in the current financial year if he achieves the maximum possible bonus payouts.

His basic salary has risen 1% to £773,000.

Operations director Michael Law and sales and marketing director Jane Shields were also given a 1% pay rise in February to £416,000 each, but the annual report revealed this was much lower than the 15% Next had planned to award them.

Finance director Amanda James received a 16% pay rise to £416,200, but this was again lower than the planned 18% in light of its lacklustre full-year performance.