Turnover doubles and pre-tax profits hit £5m in year to 30 April 2008

Zaha Hadid Architects made a five-fold increase in pre-tax profits in the year to 30 April 2008, reaping the last of the construction boom before the recession began.

The firm brought in £5m of profit in the year, up from £1m the year before. Its turnover hit £26.2m, a 93% rise from the previous year’s figure of £13.5m.

The leap in fortunes appears to be simply a result of increased fees coming in to the practice in the year that it took the Aquatics Centre and its Glasgow Transport Museum to planning and won competitions in Dubai, Poland, and Lithuania.

The net cash inflow from the practice’s operating activities was £7.59m, up from £1.2m in 2007.

But Hadid, who has 100% ownership of the company, gave herself only a slight payrise. Her combined package, made up of her £187,597 salary and a £550,000 dividend payment, came to £737,597. This represented only a 1.7% overall increase on her salary of £725,000 the year before. The firm itself grew commensurately, with an average of 241 employees during the year 2007/8, up from 156 the year before.

But there are already signs that the success of this financial year has already been tempered by the downturn. The practice was forced to admit last week that it would be forced to “rebalance the composition of its staff” in light of the economic climate, though it refrained from saying by how much its headcount would be reduced.