Profits suffer in UK property market but turnover leaps 20% on back of architect's expanding activity in Russia and Middle East

Aukett Fitzroy Robinson has had its finances dented by the credit crunch, with pre-tax profits falling 11% in the six months to 31 March.

The listed architect blamed the downturn on delays to UK projects and a general decline in the UK property market. Although the firm achieved a 19.7% rise in turnover to £11.3m, delays to UK projects caused its operating margins to fall by two percentage points, with pre-tax profit down 11% on the £1.33m reported for the same period last year, to £1.18m this year.

Aukett has reorganised its UK team as a result of what it called a “clear level of volatility appearing in client decision-making”.

The architect has seen revenue growth of 141% in the Russian market, but more modest growth in the UK sector of just 7%. The architect said this was due to a “lengthening of project programmes and planning permission delays on a number of major projects”.

Nicholas Thompson, Aukett chief executive

It intends to lower its exposure to the weak UK property market by developing its work in Russia and the Middle East, and expects to show an improvement in the end-of-year results.

Nicholas Thompson, the firm's chief executive, said: “'Whilst the more difficult climate in the UK makes forecasting increasingly complex we are particularly pleased that our revenues continue to grow, especially in those markets that we have been investing in for some time. We therefore expect full-year results to show an improvement over last year in both revenue and profit.”