Partners at Foster + Partners shared a £23.4 million bonus payment last year, up 43 per cent on the previous year, despite turnover, profits and staff numbers falling
The practice’s latest accounts reveal that during 2017/18, partners took home £20 million in a recently introduced scheme, plus £3.3 million going in social security payments.
This is a rise from £6.2 million and £800,000 respectively in the previous year.
According to the statement of accounts: ‘The partnership payment refers to a payment to all partners which, in addition to the annual bonus, is to be paid post year-end in recognition of services provided during the year.
‘Arising under the partnership plan set up in 2014, this is the second such payment and it is expected to be an annual occurrence in future, subject to meeting certain financial performance criteria.’
Fosters’ website currently lists 135 partners and senior partners on its website, which would mean that average payments to partners were £173,000.
The company’s five directors saw a total payout under a separate award scheme rise to £5.4 million – more than a million each on average – from £3.2 million the previous year.
The highest-paid director at the firm, presumed to be Norman Foster, received a £2.23 million payout, up from £1.2 million in 2016/17.
Overall, Fosters’ 2017/18 bill for employee costs bill fell from £81.3 million in the previous year to £74.3 million.
The firm is also proposing to pay a dividend of £20.46 per share to holders of C ordinary shares at a cost of £4.9 million.
This is significantly up on the 2016/17 payment of £6.14 per share – a £1.5 million payout.
Income at the practice fell from £245 million to £213 million over the year. This marks a 17 per cent reduction on the £257 million turnover posted in 2016.
The UK’s biggest architecture practice’s group accounts also reveal that pre-tax profits have fallen again. In 2018 the company made £20.8 million in profit, compared with £25.2 million the previous year and £28 million in 2016.
The practice’s annual statement also showed a reduction in the average headcount across the year from 1,425 in 2017 to 1,266 last year.
Although the company saw growth in Australasia, continental Europe and Asia, there was a decrease in workloads in the UK and North America, with significant drops in the both the Middle East and South America.