Chief executive says firm would consider buying another architectural practice despite loss

Aukett Fitzroy Robinson is open to acquiring another architecture practice, despite recently posting a £1.2m pre-tax loss, the firm’s chief executive has said.

Last week the firm posted a £1.2m pre-tax loss for the financial year to 30 September 2011, but AFR chief executive Nicholas Thompson said he would still consider an acquisition.

“It would be quite opportunistic […] I have no qualms about buying a bigger business. I don’t want to be bought by anyone,” he told Building.

Thompson added that the firm had returned many of its staff to full pay - including half its London office and its Russian studios - after staff took temporary pay cuts due to the recession.

An eight-fold increase in Russian work helped AFR to grow its turnover by 16%, to £9.2m.

But the firm, which reported grim results in 2010, saw its pre-tax loss jump a third to £1.2m in 2011, from £787,000 the previous year.

Thompson said the increased loss reflected two exceptional items - a £215,000 loss from the closure of the practice’s Warsaw studio last September and a £835,000 write-off of unpaid fees for a hotel scheme in West London.

He added that aside from these items, AFR reduced its loss last year to £394,000 with a profit of £367,000 in the second half of the financial year.