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Year-end special

Carmakers, property firms dole out biggest bonuses to employees

Recovering strongly from last year's floods, companies in the automotive and property industries have become the darlings of their employees, offering the highest bonuses.

According to data compiled by The Nation, Toyota Motor Thailand pleased its employees with a bonus worth 8.5 months of salary, in response to the company's dazzling performance this year. In the first 11 months, Toyota sold 475,820 vehicles, up by 72.9 per cent from the same period in 2011.

Trailing closely behind was Honda Automobile (Thailand), which had to shut down its manufacturing facility in Ayutthaya for six months. After resuming operations at the end of March, the company won huge orders, for total sales of 150,745 vehicles in the first 11 months, an increase of 84.4 per cent. The company therefore has good reason to reward its hard-working employees with a six-month bonus.

At Chevrolet Thailand, which has enjoyed tremendous sales growth this year, the bonus is four months.

Most Japanese auto companies award annual bonuses after the end of the fiscal year in March. Employees at Ford Thailand Co will also get their bonuses next year.

"We get our bonus in April, and the amount depends on Ford's sales performance in the Asia-Pacific region, including all its investments," a Ford employee said.

BMW Thailand employees also expect their bonus in April. Sales of the luxury brand have gone up by an average of 40 per cent this year. Meanwhile at Mercedes-Benz Thailand, employees received a standard one-month bonus in December, although in March they can also expect another bonus depending on their individual work performance.

In the property sector, which has witnessed a 5-per-cent increase in sales volume to about 80,000 units and a 10-per-cent increase in value to about Bt160 billion, LPN Development remains the champion in terms of bonus payments, offering eight to 12 months' salary.

A big improvement was witnessed at Pruksa Real Estate. The bonus is equivalent to four to five months of salary, against two months last year when the company was hit hard by the floods. Eighty of its 180 housing projects were flooded, causing huge financial damage to the company.

Likewise, Land & Houses promised one month above last year's four-month-salary bonus.

Banks have witnessed a sharp increase in loan growth this year, driven by post-flood private investment and consumption. Asia Plus Securities expects the industry to show combined net profits of Bt171.6 billion this year, a 28.88-per-cent improvement from Bt133.15 billion last year.

Like every year, banks are paying out two-month fixed bonuses for 2012, plus performance-based extra sums that will be determined after the release of the fourth-quarter financial results at the end of January. At Bangkok Bank, the variable bonus averages one month. Krungthai Bank also promises a one-time extra incentive in March. The extra incentive for fiscal 2011 was 2.75 months.

Siam Commercial Bank paid a fixed one-month bonus in June and will pay another one month's salary by year-end. Its variable bonus, to be known in February, is expected to be at least two and a half months on average, the same as last year. Kasikornbank's one-time bonus, to be paid in February, is expected to remain three months like last year.

Increasing domestic consumption has also driven growth in the media business sector. Leading music and entertainment giant GMM Grammy has paid a bonus of 1.5 months on average to its employees, while its rival RS will announce similar good news in February.

Event organisers also witnessed high growth compared with last year as there were big events like BOI Fair 2011 and a series of marketing activities shifted from last year as a result of the devastating flood. Index Creative Village said it paid bonuses of five to 12 months for its staff, against five to six months last year. MCOT maintains employees' bonuses at six months.

According to Hay Group, a human-resource-management firm, while Thai companies are expected to raise wages by 6.35 per cent on average next year, they are also expected to pay an average bonus of 2.8 months for 2012 performance. This is higher than 2.7 months in 2011. In comparison, the average bonus is 2.4 months in Malaysia and Singapore, and two months in Vietnam.

According to JobStreet (Thailand), on average 32 per cent of employers received one to two months' bonus for 2011, while 21 per cent got no more than one month, 9 per cent got two to four months, 6.5 per cent got four to six months and 2 per cent received more than six months' salary. A total of 10.5 per cent got no bonus.


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