Asda staff benefit from share option pay out

Over 16,000 Asda employees are today set to receive average
payouts of £1,500.

Asda launched its first colleague share ownership plan six
years ago and today employees will receive their share of around £25 million.

Despite the recent downturn in the US economy Wal-Mart’s
current share price is over three times higher than the option price on which
the payout is based.

In 1995, the Wal-Mart option price was £12.47 compared to
the current share price of £38.30. The average number of free shares awarded in
1995 was 60, resulting in an average profit of £1549.80.

This will be distributed to the employees in the form of
Wal-Mart shares and they can decide whether to sell or keep them.

Under the colleague share ownership plan employees are given
options worth a quarter of their salary after they have worked for 12 months.
The options are exercised in two halves, after three years and six years.
Employees are given the profit over the original option price as shares. At
least 84,000 employees belong to the plan, representing 80 per cent of the
workforce.

David Smith, Asda’s people director, said, “Asda and
Wal-Mart believe that all colleagues should have the opportunity to share in
the company’s success. And the long-term growth of Wal-Mart’s share price is a
real bonus for our colleagues who can look forward to reaping the rewards this
week.”

By Katie Hawkins.
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