Great Portland Estates, which sank to a £436m pre-tax loss last year, has risked a rewards-for-failure row after awarding its chief executive a £400,000 bonus.

The FTSE-250 company paid Toby Courtauld, its chief executive, the bonus as part of a total pay package of £859,000 last year. The payout came despite Portland writing down the value of its property portfolio by £308m in the wake of the slump in real estate valuations.

Courtauld was one of four executives to receive bonuses. Timon Drakesmith, the finance director, received a £287,000 payout, while property director Robert Noel was awarded a £321,000 bonus and Neil Thompson, development director, received a £300,000 award.

Great Portland said in its annual report that although directors had failed to meet the bonus plan’s net asset value targets, 'overall the company has continued to perform well, both in its relative performance, and in the executive directors’ achievement of their personal objectives.'

Sunday Telegraph