The average earnings of proprietary partners at Knight Frank topped £1m a man for the year ending April 2007, but the company predicted that the credit crunch and downturn in the property sector would hit future returns.

In its final results Knight Frank revealed that its staff bonus pool increased 62% to £51.4m, and the average raked in by each fee earner was £189,000. Its top earner, whose identity was not revealed, earned £1.8m.

The company’s turnover increased 32% to £2844m, and the underlying operating profit increased 67% to £59.6m.

Withstanding market cycles

Nick Thomlinson, senior partner and chairman of Knight Frank, said: ‘These strong results follow another year of sustained growth. Whilst watchful of the current macro-economic conditions, our diversity and breadth of service offerings will help us to be well placed to withstand market cycles.’

But he added that the property sector as a whole had to change its expectations on returns. ‘Nonetheless, softening yields will ensure low single digit returns in 2007,’ he said.

‘Stability is expected to return in early 2008, with a narrowing of the gap between vendor aspirations and purchaser expectations leading to a return in market activity. This is unlikely to spur the market back up to stellar results but will be sufficient to underpin positive returns, albeit fairly narrow ones.’