International engineer Ove Arup Partnership defied fears of a worldwide recession by logging a 69% jump in pre-tax profit to £4m for the year to 31 March 1999.

The £4m is what is left after £10.6m was distributed in a staff profit-sharing scheme. Ove Arup's 4500 staff receive the money in the form of two bonuses in July and November. The figure for the previous year was £7.3m.

Worldwide turnover increased 23% to £266m. Within this figure, turnover rose 31% to £93m in Asia, 26% to £24m in North America, 21% to £17m in Europe, and 16% to £129m in the UK.

During the past year, Ove Arup has opened offices in Shanghai, Bangkok, Warsaw, Boston and Detroit. It also set up a "global business desk" in New York where account managers are assigned to major international clients, such as banks and pharmaceuticals companies.

Ove Arup is drawing up a five-year business plan to take it to 2004.