HEAD of Morrisons supermarket has waived his right to almost £600,000 in bonuses despite the company substantially hitting its targets.

David Potts, the boss of the Bradford-based retail chain since 2015, earns a salary of £850,000, and was in line for a windfall of £1.7 million - twice his annual salary.

Morrisons’ annual report reveals that Mr Potts and chief commercial and finance officer Trevor Strain, who are the two executive directors on the plc board, have given back a substantial slice of their bonus entitlements ‘taking into consideration the overall performance, such as the lower increase in incremental profit from wholesale, services, interest and online’, according to the report.

Mr Strain, who has been in the post since October, is giving up £437,000 of his £1.3m bonus entitlement to receive a £3.2m total pay packet. Mr Potts will still receive £4.6m in total, down from £5.9m a year earlier.

Both bosses had achieved 96.2 per cent of their projected targets but waived the personal element - amounting to 20 per cent - after ‘taking into consideration the overall performance of the group’.

A further fifth of bonuses linked to financial performance was also waived, taking their total take-home bonus package to 61 per cent.

The report stated: “This adjustment takes into account some important aspects of overall performance, such as a lower in-year increase in incremental profit from wholesale, services, interest and online.

The Committee has considered the annual bonus outcome in view of overall Group performance and believes this represents a fair assessment.

In March Morrisons reported a 8.6pc rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £406m, but profits fell by 15.8pc to £320m on a statutory basis after the company made fewer property disposals than in 2017 and took a charge on the closure of one of its pension schemes.

Morrisons’ like-for-like sales grew by 4.8pc over the year. But the figures revealed a less robust performance within its stores, with retail like-for-like sales rising just 1.5pc over the year on the back of a marked slowdown in the second half.

Wholesale revenue rose by 3.3pc in 2018.

A report by Tony van Kralingen, remuneration committee chairman read: “2018/19 marked the thirteenth consecutive quarter of positive LFL sales growth under David Potts’ leadership, and the business continues to generate significant levels of free cash flow, a measure which shareholders continue to tell me is very important to them.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Tesco boss Dave Lewis received a total pay packet worth £4.6m last year, a slight reduction on the £5.3m a year earlier, after the remuneration committee reflected the growing shareholder rebellions around executive pay.