Barnardo's income exceeded £300m for the first time in 2016/17

The charity's latest accounts, for the year to 31 March, show income of £301.5m, up from £298.7m, with expenditure of £301.1m

Income at the children’s charity Barnardo’s has broken the £300m barrier for the first time, according to the charity’s latest accounts.

In its accounts for the year to 31 March 2017, which were published on Companies House earlier this week, Barnardo’s says it had a total income of £301.5m, compared with £298.7m the previous year.

The charity had total expenditure of £301.1m, the accounts show, which included £218m spent on charitable activities and £83.1m on generating income.

The charity spent £291.1m the previous year, according to the accounts.

The charity’s trading income, which includes its charity shop network, grew from £64m to £70m in the latest accounts, but increased costs, including the adoption of the living wage for staff, meant that the charity made a profit of only £12.1m – £1m less than in the previous year.

There was a £137.7m pension liability at the end of the year, the accounts confirm, which was up from £114.9m the previous year.

The charity cites record low interest rates for corporate bonds as the main reason for the increase in its pension liability, but the accounts say it is confident that the pension liability is manageable in the long term.

Free reserves at the charity were £63.8m, compared with £57.4m the previous year, which the accounts say was above the charity’s target for 2016/17.

Barnardo’s spent £2.1m on redundancy and termination costs, the accounts show, compared with £1.5m the previous year.

The highest earner at the charity was on a salary of between £180,000 and £189,999, according to the accounts.

In his introduction to the latest accounts, the chair Tony Cohen says that the political and financial climate in the UK has "meant a challenging year for our fundraising and retail teams". He also mentions the financial pressures on local government constricting spending on children’s services.

"Going forward, this means we will need an even greater emphasis on efficiency, and our investment in digital technology in particular should help us in this," Cohen says.

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