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Earnings of FTSE 100 executives rise a fifth as incentives climb

A worker arrives at his office in the Canary Wharf business district in London February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

LONDON (Reuters) - Directors at London-listed blue-chip companies earned 21 percent more in the 2013/14 financial year thanks to a steep rise in long-term incentives, a report showed on Monday.

The median annual earnings for directors at FTSE 100 companies was 2.43 million pounds ($3.9 million), with chief executives at 3.34 million, employment research firm Incomes Data Services (IDS), part of Thomson Reuters, said.

Earnings pegged to long-term incentive plans rose by 44 percent and bonus payments were 14 percent higher, while basic salaries gained only 2.5 percent over the period.

"Salary rises may be modest but this can be more than made up for by the receipt of incentive payments. When such incentives pay out, they can pay out substantial sums, giving a significant boost to directors' earnings," said Steve Tatton, editor of the IDS report.

Britain's latest labor market statistics showed a 0.6 percent year-on-year rise in pay including employee bonuses from May to July.

Chief executives at media, marketing and telecoms companies earned most, with a median of 6.98 million pounds a year, while CEOs at retail and distribution companies were the lowest in the rankings with a median of 1.31 million pounds.

The report also showed the gap between chief executive pay and the rest of the workforce had widened significantly.

Heads of FTSE 100 companies earned 120 times more than full-time employees on average, against a 47 percent difference in 2000.

(1 US dollar = 0.6221 British pound)

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by David Goodman)