Fit-out and construction management firm Interior Services Group was a lucrative place to work for most employees last year. Earlier this month, it announced pre-tax profit up 91% to £4.2m on a slightly reduced turnover of £370m. The company actually paid its staff less than it did in 1998, but this was still 22% more than second-placed Berkeley Group.

Fairview paid its staff 17.4% less than it did in 1998, reporting an average salary of £25 500. In contrast, its highest-paid director (see over) enjoyed a massive 208.2% rise to £601 000. And Fitzpatrick, one of the UK's largest private contractors, gave its staff the most generous rises, with salaries rising 23.6% to an average of £29 300.