Consultant Gardiner & Theobald achieved a 34% growth in UK profit this year, driven by its decision to branch out from quantity surveying.
G&T made a profit of £13.7m in 2005/06 on a turnover of £69m, itself an increase of 15%. The highest paid equity partner in the firm earned £889,000 last year, which is an 18% increase from the £751,000 last year. G&T refused to disclose the identity of this year’s highest earner, but it is likely to be managing partner Simon Jones.
Quantity surveying remained the biggest part of the business, contributing to more than half of its turnover, but the biggest growth was in construction management (CM) – unusual for a traditional QS firm.Turnover in CM rose by 86% to £2.1m.
Jones said: “Projections for next year and beyond indicate that quantity surveying will account for less that 50% of our business, and the continuing diversification will hopefully offer a degree of protection against downturns in any of our the markets.”
Gross profit totalled £20m, including a fixed profit paid monthly to equity members. That means that each equity partner is set to receive an average profit share of £168,300.
Internationally, the company has achieved growth in all its regions, despite the collapse of its global alliance with Australian company Rider Hunt and Hong Kong-based Levett & Bailey.
The biggest growth markets overseas for G&T last year were central and eastern Europe, where turnover rose by 64% to just over £4m, and China, where turnover rose 97% to £112,000.
In the UK, London remained the biggest part of the business, generating more than two-thirds of its turnover, but it was the regions that grew the most, up 37% to £15.3m.
Jones said “it was not inconceivable” that global turnover would break the £100m barrier in 2006/07.
It emerged this week that Bucknall Austin, G&T’s rival, has established an alliance with Rider Hunt and Levett & Bailey as part of its international expansion.
According to Bucknall Austin, the alliance makes it the third biggest UK-based QS. Simon Birchall, managing director, said the agreement was signed in August, but would not be implemented until the new year. The three companies will share a common name, which is yet to be decided.