The highest paid directors at seven of the eight top design groups enjoyed an increase in pay last year, with one director at Pentagram getting an 82 per cent rise.
The figures form part of the annual survey of accountancy firm Willott Kingston Smith, the Financial Performance of Marketing Services Companies, which is published today. The survey looks at last year’s results for the UK’s top 20 design groups.
Fitch boasted the highest paid director at 263 000 in 1996 – a drop of nearly 12 per cent on the previous year – and is the only consultancy in the top eight to register a decrease. The highest paid directors at The Imagination Group and The Identica Partnership earned 254 000 and 251 000 respectively.
Pentagram’s top director was paid 208 000 in the period surveyed, while directors at McBain Noel-Johnson & Company and Siegel & Gale followed on 194 000 and 184 000 respectively.
Profit levels among the UK’s top five consultancies are the highest they have been since 1991, according to the survey.
Fitch and The Imagination Group reported the highest levels of profit, with Sampson Tyrrell Enterprise, McBain Noel-Johnson and Addison all showing profits above the 1m mark. Over the previous year of 1995, only three groups reached such a level.
Net assets increased by 18.7 per cent and industry salaries rose 7 per cent, to an average of 37 637, the survey reveals.
“I think it’s brilliant. These figures are more encouraging than any since 1991. At last the costs of reorganisation and restructuring are paying off, while staff and operating costs are in line,” says Willott Kingston Smith partner Amanda Merron.
As profits have increased, so consultancies have become more efficient in collecting late payments from clients, with the number of “debtor days” dropping by 4 per cent.