António Mexia, the president of EDP, earned €2.2 million in 2017, a figure 52 times more than the average salary of EDP's 12,000 employees.
Mexia received a basic salary of €984,000 (4.8% more than in 2016), and a bonus of €584,000 for his performance in the previous year - 47% more than the bonus he received in 2016.
By spending €11.87 million on its board of directors, EDP's shareholders rewarded their top team with a million more than in 2016 - a 9% increase despite several banks cutting their investments in EDP, citing high debts and adverse regulatory changes.
EDP's profit grew by 16% in 2017 to €1.113 billion, after rising by 5% in 2016. However, the pay gap between top and bottom has grown despite an average salary for an EP worker being €49,100.
Eurostat data show that Portugal is the fourth country in the EU with the greatest wage inequality between top and bottom, behind only Cyprus, Romania and Poland.
Concerns that EDP would be cutting its dividend proved unfounded with the 19 cents payout per share, maintained.
The power company boss says he is "comfortable" with analysts' consensus on estimated earnings for 2018 and has left the door open to a later rise in dividend.
"The only thing we are not going to see is a reduction of dividends to 19 cents. This is a very strong commitment," EDP's chief executive said on Friday, during a telephone call with analysts.
António Mexia said that EDP’s debt is €13.902 billion, the lowest debt ratio in the last 10 years, (3.7 times EBTIDA), but concerning to investors.
The privatised company is a monopoly in all but name, with the ‘deregulation’ of the energy market being weak and unthreatening. Compared to average earnings, electricity in Portugal is the highest priced in Europe by the time additional charges have been added to the bill - plus VAT at 23%.
Mexia earned nearly €9,300 per working day last year in a country where average gross wages per month were €1,158. His vehement insistence that the poor are for the government to deal with, trying to wheedle out of EDP's responsibility to subsidise its less well off customers on the Social Tariff, has earned him few political allies, but will please his shareholders which include China Three Gorges at 32%, Capital Group Companies Inc with 12% and our old friends at Black Rock Inc with 5%.
One event to look forward to is EDP's defence of a 'negligent manslaughter' charge after last summer's fire in Pedrógão Grande were found to have been caused by a cable in contact with trees that should have been trimmed back. (HERE)
But on the other hand, his company is holding the government to ransom, and his shareholders are massive beneficiaries of his presidency of EDP. And it seems that both he and EDP are untouchable.
So perhaps he is earning his money.
Negligent Manslaughter ,? I thought it was an an act of God. Didn't we even have a suspect
burning bush.. Sorry but it would be Laughable except for scores of families burning to death. .