Derbyshire contractor beats Stewart Milne to offer best remuneration package in 2007

Bowmer & Kirkland’s highest paid director has become the industry’s top earner with a £8.6m salary.

In the year ended 31 August 2007, the unnamed director at the Derbyshire-based contractor, thought to be chairman John Kirkland, saw their pay jump 162% from £3.3m the year before.

The individual was one of seven directors who took home a total of £19.8m, which represents an average of £2.8m. The combined figure is a 170% increase on last year’s total of £7.3m.

Turnover at Bowmer & Kirkland rose 18% from £708m to £833m and pre-tax profit rose 30% from £24m to £37m.

The Bowmer & Kirkland director has leapfrogged Stewart Milne into the number one spot. Milne, who runs the eponymous Aberdeen housebuilder, took home £7.5m in 2007.

Building will publish an updated pay league this summer.

Moving down from second to third is David Sutherland, chair of Scottish housebuilder Tulloch, who took home £4.5m.

One City source said high pay was one of the advantages of being a privately owned company. “They can pay themselves what they like if they own the company and nobody can really complain.”

The figure of £8.6m is 20 times greater than the pay of Andrew Wyllie, chief executive of Costain, a listed company with a similar turnover to Bowmer & Kirkland. He took home £430,207 in 2006.

Another said the figure seemed excessive, but added it was difficult to judge without knowing how the sum had been calculated. “The sector is known for owners paying themselves a large whack but this may be linked to property deals.”