Architect records first-ever loss, putting it down to anticipated one-off expenditure

Internationally renowned architect Richard Rogers Partnership has posted its first-ever loss of more than £700,000.

The loss, shown in long-delayed accounts filed at Companies House this week for the year 2004/05, is the worst result the practice has registered since it began business.

The plunge into the red comes in stark contrast to the previous year’s profit of £712,000. Turnover also fell 7.5% to £16m for the year 2004/05.

In the company’s accounts, the shortfall is put down to “anticipated non-recurring items of expenditure”. Andrew Morris, senior director at RRP with responsibility for the accounts, refused to reveal what the one-off expenditure was spent on.

Speaking to Building, Morris said: “It was planned expenditure and we took it against our reserves. We retain 5% of revenue for a rainy day and situations like this. The profitability is fine.”

The accounts reveal £460,000 worth of additional pension costs, thought to relate to the departure in 2004 of founding partners Marco Goldschmeid and John Young. Furthermore, RRP was forced to pay £122,000 back to the Inland Revenue as a consequence of legal changes to corporation tax rules.

Morris said turnover that year was lower because big projects, including World Trade Tower 3 at the site of Ground Zero in the USA and Bowater House in London, had not yet come through.

Richard Rogers’ £709,000 loss is a harder financial hit than befell former colleague Norman Foster. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Foster and Partners suffered a £544,000 loss.

Morris is confident that the practice will be back in the black in the next financial year. He said: “We now actually have to be careful that we don’t take on too much work and that turnover doesn’t grow too quickly and become unmanageable.”