Costain bosses to be offered golden handcuffs
Costain has set up two exceptionally generous staff bonus schemes to attract and retain top managers as the firm expands.

Chief executive Stuart Doughty said the bonus schemes would provide an incentive to executives at a time when the company aimed to increase turnover 15% a year for the next three years and improve margins to 3%.

Doughty said: "You have to get everyone to buy into what we are trying to achieve and align staff interests with the shareholders'."

The first scheme, which will last for a year, is open to about 50 senior staff and could earn them bonuses of up to 50% of their salaries for what Doughty described as "exceptional performance". The second scheme is open to a top layer of 12 managers and lasts three years. The managers will be allocated share options depending on the growth targets they meet.

Costain last week posted a pre-tax profit of £8.7m, an increase of £2.2m for the year to 31 December 2001. Turnover rose 20% from £386.3m in 2000 to £462.9m. Margins increased slightly but are still under 2%.

Doughty said the closure of Costain's Scottish office had cost £700,000 and had led to 10 redundancies. He added that the group's new Birmingham office was pitching for work.

Doughty said Costain was no longer interested in one-off design-and-build contracts as the risks were unacceptable. He said the group wanted to grow its long-term relationships with clients.

Costain has appointed Charles McCole group finance director. He was formerly with multiservice provider Sodexho UK.