Directors' bonuses suffer as buyers earn biggest rise

18 November 2004
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18 November 2004 | David Arminas

Purchasing directors' salaries were 6.3 percent lower in the fourth quarter of 2004 than a year earlier, according to the latest salary survey by recruitment consultant Purcon.

Their average pay packet was £84,911 compared with £92,000 in September last year and the drop is mostly due to lower bonuses, according to Purcon.

By contrast, in September buyers led the way with the highest annual salary increase, a 4.3 per cent rise to £25,151.

In the previous quarterly survey, purchasing managers had the highest annual increase, a rise of 8.3 per cent to £64,949.

But in the year to September, they had a rise of only 0.4 per cent to £65,447.

The survey of 2,310 purchasers found the average annual salary had risen by 1.8 per cent to £37,137, up from £36,487.

The survey of 2,310 purchasers found the average annual salary had risen by 1.8 per cent to £37,137, up from £36,487.

By job level, assistant buyers had an average salary of £19,519 and senior buyers had an average salary of £32,217.

By region, purchasers in East Anglia had the highest annual rise at 8.5 per cent.

In the Midlands, they suffered a 3.7 per cent drop on the year.

There is evidence that the dominance of salaries in greater London relative to the rest of the south east is waning, according to Jerry Smith, director of Purcon.

"Typical ratios have seen salaries in the south east at around 93 per cent of those in greater London," he said.

"In this quarter, that has narrowed to about 96 per cent. This may indicate a general move of jobs away from London, albeit only to the immediate surrounding counties."

The survey highlights pay for IT purchasers. In September 2002 and 2003, there was a significant premium on their salaries of up to 9 per cent. But for September 2004, this fell back to between 0.9 and 3.7 per cent.

Smith said this was because there are more people with these skills in the market and at a basic level IT is relatively easy to purchase, even through the Internet. The average IT buyer at the purchasing analyst/junior buyer level earns £26,044 and an IT purchasing manager, European or global, has an average salary of £66,474.

IT purchasing managers, who typically handle a budget of around £150 million, earn most in the north east, where their salaries average £69,667.

IT purchasing managers in the north west earn the least, averaging £60,500.

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