Loss adjuster Miller Pycraft has paid its 500 staff "substantial" bonuses, despite its parent group issuing two profit warnings within the past 12 months.

Bonuses were paid to most of the company's 550 support and administrative staff for the first time after a new incentive scheme was launched on January 1, 2000.

The existing incentive scheme, which restricted bonus payments to Miller Pycraft's top 50 executives, was changed after being deemed too complex.

Chief executive Bev FitzGerald said the rewards were justified, even though the loss adjuster's parent company Miller Fisher has warned of lower than expected profits last February and in September 1999.

Miller Fisher's year end profits to last March slipped £1m compared to 1998. Miller Pycraft, which it acquired for £10.8m in 1998 as Pycraft & Arnold, contributes 50% of Miller Fisher's £70m revenue stream.

He said: "They were substantial bonuses and they were significantly better than last year's."

He declined to reveal the exact size of the payments but said they would be published in the 2001 year of accounts.

FitzGerald added that the payments could have been even higher: "If we were even more profitable, we would have paid even higher bonuses."