Shareholders in the housebuilder Crest Nicholson have rebelled over its directors’ pay, with 58 per cent opposing its remuneration report on Thursday.

The non-binding vote followed a recommendation by ISS, the influential shareholder advisory group, that investors oppose the report after Crest chose for the second time to cut pre-tax profit targets at which incentives under its long-term pay plan kick in.

Some 72 per cent of shareholders opted to vote, with 58 per cent of those registering opposition to the report.

Standard Life Investments, the group’s second largest shareholder, said: “We were disappointed that the company chose to substantially reduce the profit range at which incentives for management were paid, without consulting shareholders. As a result we voted against the remuneration report.”

Crest’s broader remuneration policy received approval from 96 per cent of those voting.

The group said on Thursday it was “disappointed” the vote for the remuneration report was not carried.

The FTSE 250 company added:

As stated previously, the Board expects the rate of profit growth will remain robust but not at levels seen in recent years due to tough comparators, additional investment in land, examining approaches to offsite manufacture and a new division required to support our stretching annual growth targets of 4,000 new homes and £1.4 billion of sales by 2019…

Every year, we have a regular dialogue with leading shareholders on a range of matters including remuneration. During the course of this year, we will continue this engagement with shareholders and will discuss remuneration arrangements and next year’s LTIP targets; and seek to better communicate underlying rationale to shareholders with earlier engagement.

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