Architect pays himself £2.9m and buys the practice’s aircraft after making £5.9m profit

Architect Foster + Partners’ parent company has reported its highest ever profit, 136% above the previous year’s return.

Foster Group (International) made a pre-tax profit of £5.9m in the year ending April 2006, up from £2.5m the year before.

Foster + Partners' tower in Siberia

Foster predicted profit would rise a further 100% in 2006/07. He said: “We’re confident the coming year will see a significant advance, with potential to double turnover, and a proportional increase in profitability.”

Turnover went up by 12.5% to £50m from £45m in the same period last year. Foster paid himself £2.9m, compared with £2.1m the previous year. His three directors, Spencer de Grey, David Nelson and Graham Phillips, shared £1m between them.

In April 2006 the company employed 629 staff, who earned £26.9m between them – an average of £43,000 each. The number of employees has now passed the 1,000 mark.

Three out of the firm’s 15 directors resigned between April 2005 and April 2006.

During the year, the company paid about £18,000 to charity. Foster + Partners also worked on a police memorial scheme in Hyde Park free of charge.

The accounts show Foster bought an aircraft from the firm at a cost of £1.9m.

Foster + Partners has recently been under scrutiny by an offshore trust regulator. This followed the closure of a multimillion-pound employee benefit trust in preparation of the sale of a minority stake in the firm to private equity company 3i.

Chris Crooks, who is leading the inquiry, said further action “was not currently under consideration”.

Fosters + Partners this week unveiled designs for amixed-used tower on a hill in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia.