Underlying demand outpacing supply, says architect

New commissions last year helped commercial architect Aukett Swanke grow its UK revenue for the first time since 2016.

The London-based practice, which has been carrying out work on the Cambridge Science Park (pictured), reported domestic turnover up nearly 11% to £7.45m in the year to 30 September 2019, citing improved confidence from developers.

Bradfield Centre, Cambridge Science Park, Aukett Swanke

Aukett, the country’s only listed architect, said underlying demand was outstripping supply, particularly for grade A office space.

While revenues rose, the UK operation posted an operating loss of £42,000, versus a £2.7m loss in 2018. But it turned a pre-tax loss of £965,000 in 2018 into a £451,000 profit last year, as costs fell by £706,000.

New commissions included the refurbishment of the Asticus building in London’s Mayfair for insurance firm AXA. It was also re-instructed for a £50m regional headquarters office project in the UK which had been cancelled in summer 2016 after the EU referendum.

The firm also reversed losses at its Middle East operation, reporting a £525,000 profit, compared with a £585,000 deficit in 2018, although it warned the outlook for the region remained cautious.

Overall, Aukett posted group turnover of £15.5m, up 8%, and a pre-tax profit of £292,000, versus a £2.5m loss in 2018.