Highest-paid partner took home £1.3m
Rogers Stirk Harbour is predicting a drop in revenue this year, as it published accounts showing a fall in pre-tax profits over the last financial year.
The practice is also facing rising costs as a result of its move from Hammersmith to the 14th floor of its own Cheesegrater tower in the City of London.
The directors say they are actively working to keep costs down to protect the firm’s bottom line. There was a round of redundancies before Christmas which triggered a public dressing-down from Marco Goldschmied who accused the practice of abandoning its principles, something Richard Rogers denied.
The accounts for the year ended June 2015 show that pre-tax profit fell from £8m to £7.6m, but that turnover rose from £30.2m to £33.7m.
In an introduction to the accounts the directors write: “Our current projections indicate that forecast turnover will decline below this level in the current financial year.
“Additionally as a result of the move, costs will also increase and we are actively taking measures to control these to minimise their effect on profitability.
“As reported in previous years, pressure on margins continues and we do not underestimate the challenges that we face to ensure we retain our standing in the global marketplace.”
It did not go into detail but identified its three biggest risks as competition from other architects, “financial risks” and the generation of adequate liquidity.
The introduction also said: “Despite our worldwide profile we remain cautious of overtrading in unfamiliar markets and are developing sound collaborations with local design and construction partners to facilitate the delivery of our services.”
The practice is working in 18 countries and employs staff from 27.
It listed a number of significant projects it has won recently, including the Louvre Conservation Centre in France and a new terminal building for Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan. It has also been appointed by Lend Lease to design several buildings at The International Quarter in Stratford.
“The diversity of these projects, as well as that of our existing work, continues to demonstrate the practice’s ability to work across a wide range of building typologies wherever they may be located around the world,” wrote the directors.
“The practice continues to actively seek new work through a mixture of competitions and use of its global network of contacts and clients.”
The UK supplanted Europe as the firm’s biggest source of revenue in the last financial year, at £12.7m. The continent provided £9.3m, with north America bringing in £2.8m, Australia £1.5m and rest of the world £7.4m.
The wage bill increased slightly to £11.9m. The firm said it employed 138 architects, eight modelmakers and 60 non-architectural staff and was proud of its retention record.
The average number of members of the LLP during the year was 10, with their average remuneration being £740,208 each. The highest earner, who is not named, pocketed £1.3m.
The accounts also revealed that RSHP spent £48,736 at the River Café, which is owned by Richard Rogers and his wife. It did not spend any money with son Ab Rogers’ firm. It spent £21,594 on design consultancy services from Ab Rogers Ltd in 2014.
BD contacted RSHP for comment but no one had responded by time of publication.