Tesco Boss Dave Lewis
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis received a £3m bonus Bauke Schram/IBTimes UK

Tesco's chief executive Dave Lewis has been handed a £3m ($4.3m, €3.8m) bonus for his role in helping the struggling retailer swing to a profit in the last financial year.

The former Unilever boss received a total of £4.6m in 2015-16, after his base salary increased by £500,000 to £1.25m and his pension contribution rose £170,000 to £313,000. Lewis, who left Unilever in August 2014, was not given a bonus in 2014-15, though he pocketed some £3.3m in lieu of shares forfeited when he left the home and personal care products manufacturer.

In the 12 months to 27 February, the FTSE 100 group posted a £162m pre-tax profit including exceptional items, compared to a £6.4bn loss in the previous year, as the group's core UK business generated its first underlying sales growth in the last three years.

Alan Stewart, the retailer's chief financial officer, was the second-best paid employee at Tesco, after receiving £2.6m, which included a £1.6m bonus, on top of his £750,000 salary. On 2 February, the retailer unveiled a 3.1% increase in basic pay for almost 250,000 employees, although it cut night-time and holiday bonuses.

"Stretching 2015-16 annual bonus targets were set last year in the context of significant uncertainty and volatility for both Tesco and the retail sector, at a time when nearly all key indicators in the business were on a steep, negative trend," said Deanna Oppenheimer, who chairs Tesco's remuneration committee.

She added financial targets for sales and operating profit, which made up 80% of the bonus, were met almost fully by both Lewis and Stewart.

In a statement released on Friday (13 May), Tesco added Lewis has chosen to take half of the cash element of his bonus as share. The bonus was originally due to be paid in cash, with the remainder in shares.