WWF-UK accounts show a 10 per cent rise in income

The increase from £60.08m to £67.6m is accounted for by new corporate sponsorships and a large legacy

The charity's annual report
The charity's annual report

WWF-UK’s income has risen by approximately 10 per cent because of new corporate sponsorships and a large legacy, new figures show.

The charity’s accounts for the year to 30 June 2018, which were published at the end of last week, show that total income rose from £60.8m to £67.6m, the second-highest total in the charity’s history.

The increase in income was down partly to an extra £2.9m from corporate partnerships, income from which rose to £7.4m when a £1.5m project with the broadcaster Sky began, and the renewal of a water programme partnership with the bank HSBC.

A large legacy of £3.3m, which will be used for tiger conservation work, also pushed legacy income up from £11.9m to £15.5m.

This marks a reversal in the charity’s fortunes from the previous set of accounts, which showed that income fell by 13 per cent between 2015/16 and 2016/17 from a record high of £71.1m, partly because of a fall of £4.2m in legacy income.

Expenditure in 2017/18 fell from £63.2m to £62.4m, the latest accounts show.

A spokeswoman for WWF-UK said the charity was "delighted to have had a successful year in fundraising".

She said: "This was greatly aided by a £3.3m legacy to support our tiger conservation work and our continuing partnerships with HSBC and Sky, which will help to fund our freshwater and marine programmes.

"We also benefited from two People’s Postcode Lottery promotions totalling £5.2m."

The charity’s accounts show that the top earner at the charity was paid between £180,001 and £190,000 during the year, far higher than in the previous accounts, when the figure was between £120,001 and £130,000.

The spokeswoman said the amount received by the highest earner in 2017/18 related to a "one-off anomaly".

She said Tanya Steele, the charity’s chief executive, continued to receive the highest salary paid by the charity, of £137,714.

The accounts say that the executive team at the charity rose in number from four to seven in 2017/18, with the employee benefits for the executive team almost doubling, from £591,171 to £1.1m.

The charity spent £175,000 on redundancies in the year covered by the accounts, and the number of high earners – those paid more than £60,000 a year – increased from 18 to 32.

 "This year we have developed a new long-range vision to stop the decline of our planet’s natural resources and to inspire the action urgently needed so nature’s vital signs are healthy once more," the spokeswoman said.

"As part of our strategy renewal process, we recognised that to address the urgent threats facing our world we needed to have significantly greater impact as an organisation and have strengthened our leadership to achieve our ambitious targets."

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