Troubled architect SMC group has begun to cut staff as part of a restructuring.

Stewart McColl, the founder and deputy executive chairman, resigned last week after a series of profit warnings at the alternative investment market (AIM)-listed firm.

The move followed the initial findings of an internal review into the company’s financial underperformance.

At an annual general meeting this week, Sir Rodney Walker, the executive chairman, said staff had begun to be cut as part of a planned reorganisation.

The firm also scrapped plans to announce a dividend at its annual meeting.

Walker said: “The board believes that a dividend at this time would not have been in the long-term interests of the company.”

n SMC’s fellow AIM-listed architect Aukett Fitzroy Robinson this week reported an 836% rise in pre-tax profit to £1.3m for the six months ended 31 March 2007.

Turnover rose to £9.4m, a 37% improvement on the previous half year.