Architect Aukett Fitzroy Robinson said this week that it was to step up its merger and acquisition programme as it revealed a solid set of annual results.

Pre-tax profit shot up 80% to £790,000, for the year ending 30 September 2006 – up from £160,000 for the same period last year. Turnover increased 23% to £16.3m in 2006, compared with £12.6m in 2005.

Nicholas Thompson, the firm’s chief executive, said the results were due to a buoyant UK commercial market and a strong Russian market. He said the practice would expand by acquiring companies to improve its geographical spread and move into new markets.

He said: “A list of potential opportunities is being compiled and appropriate resources will be made available to develop the more promising candidates further.”

The strong results will come as a relief to the firm, which has been building itself up since Aukett acquired rival Fitzroy Robinson in 2005. After the acquisition, the group was forced to cut costs after three months of losses. At the time Thompson said that this was because most of Aukett’s pre-acquisition prospects had not been converted into real projects.

A list of opportunities is being compiled and we will develop the more promising candidates

Nicholas Thompson

The practice now has more large projects on its books, including the £100m redevelopment of Alexandra Palace and the £100m PFI redevelopment of the former Home Office building near Victoria in central London.

JM Finn, the firm’s stockbroker, predicts that its pre-tax profit will more than double in 2007 to £1.9m.

A year after the merger, Aukett moved from the support services index on the stock exchange to the alternative investment market. Thompson said this move was a success. The firm’s share price hit a high of almost 18p on 9 January 2007, compared with a low of 2.38p in January 2006.