Architect blames 69% profit drop on 'tightening of credit lines in the construction sector'

Zaha Hadid Architects has blamed a 69% slump in profit on the difficulty in financing projects.

The firm’s pre-tax profit fell from £5m to £1.58m in the year ended 30 April 2009. Despite this, turnover rose £3m to £29.2m.

In its annual report filed at Companies House, the practice blamed the fall in profit on the “the tightening of credit lines, particularly those in the construction sector, and the knock-on impact that has had on the architectural world”.

This has not stopped the highest paid director, presumed to be Hadid herself, taking a pay rise of 31% to £490,000.

The figures showed that the firm relies increasingly on fees from overseas work: £24.5m compared with £19.2m the year before. UK turnover fell from £7m to £4.7m.

The practice employed a monthly average of 290 people over the year, who received an average salary of £31,663. It

ended the year with shareholder funds of £5.3m, up from £4.7m

in 2008.

It hopes to expand its work in the Far East, and is expecting

to open the Guangzhou Opera House in southern China later this year. In the UK, it is the designer of the aquatics centre for the London Olympics.

n London 2012 velodrome designer Hopkins Architects has posted a pre-tax profit of £2.9m for the 12 months ending 31 March 2009, 69% higher than the £1.7m it made the previous year. Turnover was £13.8m, up from £10.1m.

About £9m of that turnover came from its work in the UK, but the proportion of income from Europe more than doubled to £2.6m from £1.2m.

Hopkins, which last year started work on University College London’s Phase 3 Cancer Centre, said that performance was “strong throughout the year”.