Income at the conservation charity WWF-UK rose by almost £8m to a record high of more than £71m last year, its latest accounts show.
The charity’s accounts for the year to 30 June 2016, which were filed with Companies House last week, show an overall income of £71.1m, compared with £63.2m in the previous year.
The figure, which as in the previous year includes £1.9m of gifts in kind, beats the charity’s previous high of £66.2m in 2011/12.
The accounts show expenditure increased slightly from £62m to £63m, with spending on charitable activities accounting for £49.3m of that total. The accounts say that the amount the charity spent on raising funds fell from £14.9m to £13.3m.
There was also a £7m increase in income from legacies, due to the arrival of the second part of the charity’s largest-ever legacy, which was worth £4.8m in 2015/16. The first tranche in 2013/14 was worth £5m, and a spokeswoman for the charity said a much smaller final tranche is expected to bring the total legacy value to about £10m.
The spokeswoman said the higher levels of legacy income and a £1.8m increase in net proceeds from the People’s Postcode Lottery were other reasons for the charity’s good financial performance in 2016.
The accounts also show that WWF-UK’s reserves increased by £9.7m to £58.4m, and a record number of people visited the charity’s website – an increase of approximately 100,000 to 4.1 million visits.
The highest earner at the charity had a salary of between £130,001 and £140,000 a year, the accounts say.
Tanya Steele, the former interim chief executive of Save the Children, took over from David Nussbaum as chief executive of WWF-UK earlier this month.
Ali Lucas, executive director of communications and fundraising at WWF-UK, said: "We are pleased that despite recent and continuing challenges in the fundraising environment, our total income (excluding gifts in kind) for the year was £69.2m.
"It represents a 13 per cent increase on the previous year. This record figure was thanks in no small part to the lifeblood of the organisation: the fantastic numbers of generous supporters and the incredible work of our dedicated staff. We are spending the money on additional and invaluable conservation work."