Partner Richard Feilden said that there were two reasons for the decline in profit.
He said: “There were a couple of things we chose to do after a good 2001. We entered four or five competitions and won one [a swimming pool in Formby, Lancashire] and we spent a lot on those. We also chose to pull out of a job in central London as we had serious misgivings about it. These decisions affected our results.”
Feilden declined to name the central London project but it is understood to have been for a private commercial client.
Feilden added that the results were skewed by the buoyant market in 2001, but added that the general trend was one of growth.
Last year the practice increased staff numbers 20% to 85, and this year has more than 100 employees. Feilden said that the increase in staff would increase future results: “In our experience, growth in staff numbers doesn’t translate into growth in the bottom line for some time.”
The practice operates a
profit-sharing system. More than £540,000 was divided between staff in 2002, a fall from £810,000 in 2001.
The profit-sharing scheme is under review, however, as it can lead to the practice distributing more money than is justified by its results. In the current system, money is handed out on the
basis of estimated profits rather than audited results.
Feilden said: “We are forming a group to look at the whole issue, to see whether we can be a bit more creative [with the sharing system].”
Feilden Clegg Bradley posted its results two months after Building revealed that the 2001/02 figures of the Richard Rogers Partnership and Grimshaw had been hit by economic uncertainty after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Both announced a sharp fall in annual pre-tax profit.
RRP posted a £326,000 pre-tax profit for the year to 30 June 2002, a fall of £340,000. Grimshaw made a £108,000 pre-tax profit in the year to 31 October 2002, a drop of £405,000 on the previous year.