Athlone based pharmaceutical company Elan paid its chief executive 57% last year than in 2007, according to its annual report published overnight.

Kelly Martin earned $830,496 last year, compared to $1.9m the year before. The report states this is because he waived his 2007 cash bonus which would have been paid last year in exchange for share options.

Elan's executive director Shane Cooke's pay fell by 14.5% to $1.1m last year.

Mr Martin said that 2008 had been a year of 'rigourous self-evaluation'.

Its chairman Kyran McLaughlin said the company is aware that economically times are challenging, and added that it has taken aggressive action to reduce costs.

Last month the firm said it was cutting 115 jobs at its Irish operations as part of an ongoing strategic review process. Another 115 jobs went in its US operations.