Despite earnings tumble, Standex execs reap rewards

CEO saw 23% increase in compensation as profits fell by 70%

Standex LogoStandex International Corp. had an off year financially, but its CEO and other executives did pretty well.

The Salem-based conglomerate had earlier said its sales fell by $35 million in the 2020 fiscal year, which ended June 30, with profits falling by 70%, and the company cutting its U.S. workforce in half. But CEO David Dunbar was paid over $4 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, an increase of 23%, the company said in its proxy for next month’s annual meeting.

Dunbar was paid 87 times the median pay of Standex employees, which, at $46,000, rise 12% last year.

But there are fewer such workers in the United States. The company employees 1,100 people in this country, half the number a year earlier. The rest of its 3,836 employees are scattered across 21 countries.

Dunbar called the pandemic “a very challenging environment” when the company released its disappointing earnings at the end of August. The company was hit hard in its fourth quarter, which started in April, when sales went down 17 percent.

The company ended up with $604.5 million in sales for the fiscal year, with a net income of $20.2 million (or $1.64 a share), less than a third of the $67.9 million it made the previous year.

But all told, the company’s top four executives, including Dunbar, were paid $8 million in compensation, a 20% increase.

“Despite the impact of the pandemic, we still generated $56.5 million in net cash from continuing operating activities. … We also continued to make progress in improving the quality of our portfolio,” summed up the proxy in explaining the pay increases. “These actions, together with the increased collaboration of our businesses in responding to the pandemic, positions us well to emerge stronger than ever from the pandemic-induced recession.”

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