Newcrest flags more pay cuts

Gold miner warns of 'nil to very low incentive rewards' for management as gearing increases but says outlook for gold positive.

Newcrest Mining (NCM) executives are bracing for more pay cuts as the troubled gold miner outlines plans to keep bonuses to a minimum.

Chairman Don Mercer flagged a frugal year ahead after a horror 2012/13 in which the gold price plummeted and Newcrest chief executive officer Greg Robinson and senior executives had their pay packets slashed.

"Executives and our people in management roles will receive nil to very low incentive rewards this year," Mr Mercer said in the company's 2013 annual report.

Mr Mercer said the outlook for gold was positive but added that "regrettably" hundreds of employees had lost their jobs during a challenging year for the company.

Newcrest last month posted an annual net loss of $5.8 billion on the back of more than $6 billion in asset writedowns and restructuring costs and a disclosure scandal.

The company then announced that Mr Robinson's annual payt by 27% to $2.73 million, down from $3.69 million in the previous year as his short-term bonuses were reduced by $700,000.

The 2013 annual report showed Newcrest's executive managers also had their pay cut in 2013, but Finance Director Gerard Bond's overall pay increased, from $1.64 million to $1.73 million.

Mr Robinson, Mr Bond and other executive managers will not receive pay rises in fiscal 2014.

Newcrest has struggled to protect earnings in the last year as costs stayed too high at some of its mines while the gold price plunged from $US1,800 an ounce in October, 2012, to $US1,200 by the end of June, 2013.

Meanwhile, gearing has increased to 29%, significantly above the company's target of 20%.

Mr Mercer added that Newcrest continued to co-operate fully with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigation into claims the company selectively briefed market analysts in the leadup to writedowns and the restructure.

While the company did not pay a final dividend, Mr Mercer said growth options had been preserved and could be activated if conditions improved.

Mr Robinson echoed Mr Mercer's outlook, saying he was confident shareholders would receive value as the company examined development and exploration options.

"The Lihir mine is expected to play an important role in Newcrest's future production and earnings," Mr Robinson said.

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