Compensation jumps 56% for Couche-Tard execs

Company benefits from higher margins on fuel.
store sign on street

MONTREAL - Compensation for Alimentation Couche-Tard's top five executives jumped 56% last year as the convenience store and gas station operator benefitted from higher margins on fuel prices.

Together, the Laval-based company's five highest-paid managers earned emoluments of $40.7 million in fiscal 2023 ended April 30, compared with $26.1 million, according to regulatory filings sent to shareholders.

Compensation for president and CEO Brian Hannasch increased by 50% per cent to $18.5 million. The amount includes a 'special bonus' of $2.5 million 'linked to the achievement of the five-year strategic plan to double the company's results again'.

READ: Acquisitions spur 2023 growth for Alimentation Couche-Tard

In fiscal 2023, Couche-Tard posted net earnings of US$3.1 billion, compared with US$2.7 billion for the same period last year. This increase was largely due to higher fuel margins, the company explains in the document.

Short-term bonuses were 75% determined by the achievement of financial targets, explained Mélanie Kau, chair of the board's human resources committee, in a letter to shareholders. As for individual targets, these were achieved at an average of 85.46% for the company's five top executives.

Company founder Alain Bouchard, who remains executive chairman of the board, received $8.3 million in compensation. Bouchard was not eligible for the special bonus.

Bouchard holds a 12.6% interest. His shares will have paid him over $61.6 million in dividends in fiscal 2023, according to an estimate based on available data.

The shareholder newsletter also showed that CFO Claude Tessier was entitled to a payment of $8.8 million if he had retired on April 30 (at year-end). Tessier retired three months after the end of fiscal 2023 on July 1.

While Hannasch, who lives in Columbus, Indiana, does not speak French, the company points out that 14 of the 16 candidates for the position of director speak French, i.e. 87.5%.

Couche-Tard will hold its virtual shareholders' meeting on Sept. 7.

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