But finding work overseas proves costly as cashflow plummets 76%

Aukett Fitzroy Robinson defied the credit crunch in 2008 by raising its turnover by 14%, but its efforts to find work abroad has knocked £1.3m off the architect’s cashflow.

According to preliminary results revealed today, the listed architect achieved revenues of £22.6m in the year to 30 September 2008, up from £19.7m the year before. Pre-tax profits rose marginally to £2.42m, up from £2.39m in 2007. It was able to recommend a dividend of 0.21p per share, a 5% increase on 2007’s figure.

The architect has largely defied the downturn which hit architects during 2008 by taking on increased amounts of work overseas. As much as 50% of its turnover was generated by work overseas, with revenues in the Middle East rising to £5.2m in 2008 from just £220k the year before.

But this rush overseas has come at a cost in terms of the practice’s cashflow. Net cash fell 76% from a healthy £1.7m in 2007 to £400k in September last year. The firm said this was due to an increase in “working capital requirement” in the second half of the year due to the slowdown in the UK and exposure to non-UK revenue streams.

Nicholas Thompson, chief executive, said the results were “creditable” in what had been a “difficult year” for the practice. He said: “The real challenge for the group is one of achieving a reasonable level of financial performance in a market with fewer opportunities in the short term. We believe that our diverse business model will enable us to improve both our net asset value and cash position in 2009 thereby allowing continuation of our progressive dividend policy.”