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Bonuses are back for top boardrooms

Marion Dakers
THE average FTSE 100 boardroom bonus topped half a million pounds in the first half of this year, with an average pay rise for top directors of 23 per cent, research out today reveals.

Bonus payments rose to an average of £558,918, a dramatic bounce from last year when payouts fell 30 per cent, according to Income Data Services (IDS).

Basic salaries also rose by seven per cent on last year.

Steve Tatton, editor of the report by IDS, said: “While not all UK listed companies have yet published their reports and the final picture is yet to emerge, the trend seems clear.

“All the signs are that boardroom bonuses are recovering at a much faster pace than anticipated.”

Across all listed companies, the typical pay rise was over five per cent. This is a slight slowdown on previous years, but above the national average rise.

The story at smaller firms is more sobering. Directors at Aim-listed companies saw their bonuses shrink by 43 per cent, to an average payment of £35,876, while boardroom bonuses at FTSE 250 and small-cap companies remained broadly flat.

Overall payment including salary and bonus for directors at Aim-listed companies fell by 0.8 per cent.

“Smaller companies are traditionally hit harder by a recession, so that may explain why the bonuses of directors of these companies are taking longer to recover than those of FTSE 100 companies,” said Tatton.

Multi-million pound bonuses for the bosses at Marks & Spencer, Tesco and BT in the last month suggest the upward trend at the top is set to continue.

IDS questioned 237 directors from 180 listed companies for the report.