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    Publix' Senior Pay for Top Execs Not Tops

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets, Inc. here rewarded its top execs with pay raises last year, but the company's salaries are still much less than some of its larger -- and in some cases, less successful -- counterparts, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets, Inc. here rewarded its top execs with pay raises last year, but the company's salaries are still much less than some of its larger -- and in some cases, less successful -- counterparts, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The five highest-paid Publix executives earned between $369,217 and $713,931 in salaries and bonuses in 2004, according to a report filed this month with the SEC. Charles H. Jenkins, c.e.o. and director, was paid $537,550 in salary and a bonus of $176,381. Jenkins received a 31 percent hike from the year before, which Publix awarded in part to more closely match what other supermarket execs make, according to the company.

    By comparison, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie hired c.e.o. Peter Lynch in December 2004 for $900,000. The company's board voted in February to pay him a $1.5 million retention bonus to keep him on board through the end of this year.

    Meanwhile, Albertsons' c.e.o. Larry Johnston earned $3.3 million in salary and bonuses in 2003.

    According to Publix, current base salaries of the chief executies in that peer group index range from $560,000 to $1.3 million, with the lowest c.e.o. base salary given by a supermarket chain with approximately $2 billion in sales.

    Publix' 2004 sales were up 10.7 percent, from $16.8 billion to $18.6 billion.

    A Publix spokesman told local press that the more modest compensation packages reflect the overall Publix mentality. He noted that all employees feel they are paid a fair wage and compensation, which makes for a happy company.

    Publix is also given high praises by many analysts for being an employee-owned company. The chain's stock -- now priced at $64 -- continues to do well.

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