Pre-tax profit jumps at privately owned architect but decision on Bordeaux Law Courts redesign work is imminent.
Architect Richard Rogers Partnership saw pre-tax profit rise 53% to £479 675 for the year to 30 June 1998.

Results filed at Companies House show that the privately owned practice also increased its turnover 29% from £10.45m to £13.47m during the year. “The directors are satisfied with progress and expect it to continue for the foreseeable future,” said the results statement.

A company spokesperson described the results as “very buoyant” but would not give predictions for the coming year. “There is no constant. It depends on which briefs come in and which we accept,” he said.

The company is awaiting the imminent decision on its redesign of the glass mullions on the Bordeaux Law Courts which cracked last year. A third of the 74 fin-like structures that support the building's 15 m high, 75 m long facade had failed.

Richard Rogers, with engineer Ove Arup & Partners, subsequently drew up a scheme to replace them that was submitted to an inquiry by the French bureau of public works. The inquiry will decide on the scheme’s feasibility and rule on which party should pay for the work.

At the time, Ivan Harbour, project architect for Richard Rogers, said the inquiry was launched by the client in a bid to avoid paying for replacement work. The inquiry is now finished but is waiting to test variations in temperature and their effect on the glass.

A spokesperson for Richard Rogers said: “The delay and the new scheme have pushed up the cost, and presumably the mullions are going to have to be replaced at some time. But I wouldn't say the ball falls in our court. We do, of course, have contractual suppliers.” Richard Rogers is about to begin work on a number of large hotel and residential projects in Europe. And work has begun on the £40m McArthur Glen shopping centre in Ashford, Kent – the first retail centre designed by the architect.

Other major projects include the Welsh assembly in Cardiff – due for completion in April 2001 – and a £50m law court complex in Antwerp, Belgium.

Highlights of the company's results for 1997-98 include:

  • turnover in Europe rose almost 50% at £2.4m
  • UK turnover increased 20% to £10m while sales in the rest of the world almost doubled to £1m
  • group operating profit was up 51% from £316 934 to £480 150
  • 5% of the company's profits are shared between staff
  • charitable donations of £808 000 were made by the company, more than double the £323 000 made in the previous 12 months
  • The practice took on 13 more architects, which helped expand its total staff from 101 to 124.