Barratt boss pockets £3.6m pay package after bumper bonuses

The boss of housebuilding giant Barratt Developments has seen his annual pay package swell by a third after landing £2.7 million in bonuses.

Barratt’s annual report reveals chief executive David Thomas trousered £3.6 million in salary, benefits and bonuses for the year to the end of June, up from £2.7 million in 2017-18.

His pay was boosted by a £1.1 million annual bonus and £1.6 million in long-term share awards, which follow a year of record profits for the group.

Details of Mr Thomas’s bumper pay come less than two months after he cashed in more than a third of his shares in the company, pocketing £3.3 million.

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David Thomas (Barratt/PA)

Barratt has benefited from a resilient new homes market, which has been shielded from the Brexit woes hitting the rest of the property sector thanks to the boost from the Government’s Help to Buy scheme and low interest rates.

Its annual results earlier this month showed an 8.9% rise in pre-tax profits to £909.8 million for the year to June 30 after house sales reached an 11-year high – up 1.6% at 17,856.

Barratt’s annual report reveals Mr Thomas received the highest chief executive pay at the firm since 2015, when the then boss Mark Clare landed a £7.4 million package.

The report also showed that finance chief Steven Boyes enjoyed a 32% rise in his annual pay package to £2.9 million in 2018-19 after he was awarded £2.1 million in bonuses.

Mr Thomas’s pay package also included £739,000 in salary and £210,000 in pension and benefits.

He was awarded a 3.1% pay rise and Barratt hiked salaries for all executive directors by 2.5% in July.

It is also increasing its pay for non-executives at the group, with the chairman seeing his fees rise by 2.5% to £332,561 a year.

Barratt, which is holding its annual shareholder meeting on October 16 in London, said Mr Thomas is paid 88 times more than the average employee at the group.

But the wider workforce was also handed a pay rise in July – up 2.8% on average.

Richard Akers, chairman of the remuneration committee, said the group had reviewed pay deals for top bosses over the past year and decided they were “fit for purpose” and remained unchanged, aside from the salary increases.

On the hefty bonuses paid to the executive team, he said: “We have met, or in some cases exceeded, the financial and non-financial short and long-term performance targets.

“This would not have been possible without the clear direction and leadership from the executive directors and senior management.”

Barratt shares recently hit 12-year highs – levels not seen since just before the 2008 financial crisis – on the back of another set of record annual results.

Mr Thomas’s decision to cash in a chunk of his shares in the summer was watched closely, with investors often taking director share sales as a sign that the share price may have peaked.

But Barratt insisted it was a move to “balance” his personal investments.

Pay for housebuilder bosses has been in the spotlight in recent years amid concerns these firms have been profiting from the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, which was designed to help first-time buyers on to the property ladder.

Former Persimmon chief executive Jeff Fairburn was forced to step down late last year after a high-profile row over his £75 million pay package.

He was originally set to land £100 million, but reduced the package after a public outcry.

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