The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Dollarama CEO and founder's compensation surged to $3.74 million in 2013

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MONTREAL - Dollarama founder Larry Rossy's compensation surged 125 per cent to $3.74 million last year, according to a regulatory filing ahead of the discount retailer's annual meeting in June.

The 71-year-old CEO's total compensation was up from $1.66 million in 2012 and $2.4 million in 2011.

His salary increased 46 per cent to $750,000. He also received option-based awards valued at nearly $2.3 million and a $701,250 bonus.

Rossy owns 4.4 million Dollarama (TSX:DOL) shares or 6.46 per cent of the company, valued at $370 million based on the closing price of $84 on Jan. 31. He also had 200,000 options worth $810,000.

His holdings are worth even more today as the Montreal-based company's shares traded at $91.39 Monday, up 97 cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In the past year, they have gained more than 25 per cent.

Rossy has presided over one of Canada's best-performing retailers, despite increased competition from U.S. giants Wal-Mart and the arrival in Canada of Target.

For fiscal 2013, Dollarama's annual sales surpassed $2 billion, rising nearly 14 per cent from $1.86 billion the previous year when it benefited from an extra week of business. Net earnings for the year were $250.1 million, or $3.47 per diluted share, compared with $221 million, or $2.94 per diluted share in 2012.

Chief financial officer Michael Ross received $1.76 million in compensation last year, while chief merchandising officer Neil Rossy, 44, received $1.89 million.

Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU) executive Johanne Choiniere was recently hired as chief operating officer to replace Stephane Gonthier, who left last fall to head California-based 99 Cents Only Stores.

Dollarama was founded as a privately held chain in 1992, with U.S. private equity fund Bain Capital buying 80 per cent of the company in 2004 for US$850 million. It went public in 2009. The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec owns 4.37 million shares or 6.41 per cent.

It is the largest dollar store operator in Canada, with 874 locations in all provinces that sell products for up to $3.

Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.

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