Total expenditure was £1.24 billion, an increase of 12% (£137.9 million) on the previous year when the movement in pension provision was excluded. The overall number of full-time equivalent staff grew for the first time in four years, contributing to the £42.6 million increase in staff costs. Higher energy costs represented the biggest driver of the £83.0 million increase in non-staff other operational expenditure.

Staff costs

In cash terms the increase in staff cost in 2022–23 was £53.2 million, with the utilisation of the previously recognised pension provision reducing the staff cost reported in the Statement of Comprehensive Income and Expenditure that is used to calculate the surplus for the year. In addition to the annual salary increase set as part of local pay bargaining, we also made payments totalling £10.2 million to all staff to support the in managing cost of living increases.

After keeping overall staff numbers flat over the last three years, 2022–23 saw an uplift in our net recruitment. Whereas some of this increase reflected the increase in externally funded research activity, the majority of the increase of 196 full-time equivalent posts was in professional support roles, required to ease the workload demands arising from the jump in student numbers since 2020.

Whereas the USS pension scheme has been a source of considerable volatility in the reported results in many of the recent years, the changes in the pension deficit provision assumptions resulted in a small reduction of £0.2 million (2022: an increase of £152.1 million). The latest actuarial valuation as of 31 March 2023 is underway and is expected to lead to the reversal of the related provision in next year’s results.

Employer contributions to the SAUL pension scheme increased by £6.5 million in line with the agreed plan, from 19% of career average salaries to 21% on 1 January 2023. Although the scheme is not in deficit, the Trustee was concerned about the contribution strain going forwards arising from the difference between the value of the new benefits being accrued and the amount being paid into the scheme.


Operating expenditure increased by £82.2 million to £475.8 million in 2022–23. £45.1 million of this increase related to utility cost inflation. Imperial uses Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines to generate electricity from gas and prior to 2022–23 this reduced the in-year energy cost as gas was cheaper than electricity. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and resulting issues with gas supply, gas prices leapt and reversed the gains of previous years. The government’s price capping support helped mitigate the impact of cost increases during the winter months.

Travel costs increased by £10.9 million compared with last year as 2022–23 saw the first full year of conferences and field trips since pandemic-related travel restrictions eased.

Gains and losses on investments

Imperial’s endowed assets were valued at £220.1 million at the end of the year (2022: £219.6 million). The target for the portfolio is to deliver a return of at least CPI +5% on a rolling ten-year basis. Heightened inflation combined with pessimistic market sentiment have proven a challenging background for investing and as a result the portfolio as at 31 July 2023 reported a return of 6.1% against the ten-year target of 8%. Further information on Imperial’s endowed assets can be found in Note 14 to the financial statements.


The reported capital additions of £134.9 million in 2022–23 (2022: £52.8 million) represent an increased investment in both new buildings and refurbishment as well as our digital infrastructure. Among the major projects, work to rationalise the Faculty of Medicine’s estate continued with further spend of £28.8 million recorded on the new School of Public Health building at White City ahead of its opening in 2023–24. The increase in spend was also driven by early work taking place to decarbonise our South Kensington Campus by replacing the steam boilers with more efficient water boilers and migrating buildings from steam to heated water. £12.3 million of the total of £23.1 million spent on this project in 2022–23 was funded externally. Investment in refurbishment of our core estate accelerated to meet the requirements of our staff and students across our multiple campuses.


Cash from operations of £56.4 million was £1.8 million higher than in the previous year. Imperial often benefits from favourable working capital movements and following the adverse movement in the previous year we had anticipated a reversal in 2022–23, though this did not materialise to any significant extent.

New endowment cash received of £3.2 million was down on the previous year (2022: £8.4 million), leading to an increased outflow in cash from financing activities. Interest paid and repayments of amounts borrowed remained in line with the previous year. No new borrowing was undertaken during the year.

The increased level of investment in fixed assets in comparison with the previous year, (£59.7 million increase) led to an increased cash outflow from our investing activities. This was offset to some extent by increased capital receipts of £49.1 million (2022: £41.1 million) and an increase in disposals of noncurrent investments of £19.6 million (2022: £16.1 million).

Expenditure by category (£ million) 2022–23

This chart shows Imperial’s expenditure by category in pounds for the year 2022–23. The total expenditure shown is £1,240.3 million – this figure excludes the pension provision.


Cash movement

This table shows the cash movements in the financial years 2022–23 and 2021–22 in pounds, including cash and cash equivalents at the beginning and end of the year; cash inflow from operating activities; financing and investing activities; and exchange gains and losses non cash and cash equivalents.