Architect boosts profit by 42% after a series of takeovers in its first year on the stock exchange

Pre-tax profit soared 42% at quoted architect SMC Group for the first six months of trading thanks to its aggressive expansion policy.

Priofty before tax grew to £1.6m for the first six months to June up from £1.1m. Gross profit jumped 105% top £6.1m while turnover increased £108% to £11.3m.

Following its floatation in June 2005, SMC embarked on an aggressive expansion drive. Soon after the listing it acquired northern rivals Corstorphine & Wright Hills Erwin and Philip Lees & Associates.

In October 2005 it paid £5m for Manchester architects DTR:UK while in the New Year it broadened its based by adding south west-based Ian Penrose and east of England practice Covell Matthews paying £4m for the two businesses.

More recently its bought Alsop Design for £1.8m and in June it made its largest acquisition to date when it purchased architecture and design company Charter Consultant Architects fro £3.56m.

Stewart McColl, chief executive said: “This has been a strong period of performance for SMC. The Group has enjoyed continued strategic expansion, reflecting the Group's policy of adopting a balanced approach to growth by diversifying into new market sectors and higher construction value ranges. We continue to win significant new business and are confident of the Group's performance over the full year.”