Architect blames recession in the Middle East and UK for 27% fall in turnover

Architect Aukett Fitzroy Robinson has dropped £1.2m into the red for the six months to 31 March due to the depressed UK property market and the economic malaise in the Middle East.

Over the period turnover fell 27% £11.3 to £8.2m and the loss compared to a £1.2m profit in 2008.

The company was also hit by restructuring costs of £945,000 that included staff cuts that will see the company reduce headcount by 36%.

Despite the gloomy news chief executive Nicholas Thompson was confident about the long-term future.

He said: “At this moment we see no firm evidence of any upturn and therefore in the short term management attention will focus on the continuing need to lower our cost base to reflect current trading activity. In the longer term, when markets recover, we will revert to our corporate objective to increase revenues to £25m."

The company

ended the period with net cash of £238,000 compared to £1.7m this time last year.

It said the economic problems in the Middle East had reduced revenue by £585,000 as a result of renegotiated or delayed fees. It was also hit by £120,000 in staff costs after a project in the region that had been won in February was withdrawn.

Turnover breakdown

UK - £5.5m (2008: £8.2m)
Continental Europe - £757,000 (£1.2m)
Russia and former CIS - £1.91m (£1.87m)