Perfect storm pushes Aukett deeper into the red

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
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Listed architect Aukett Swanke racked up further losses last year of £2.5m amid Brexit project delays, fierce fee competition and a slowdown in its key United Arab Emirates market.

It warned that market prices had weakened considerably with design-led projects often awarded to other bidders at up to 50% Aukett’s own pricing.

In the UK alone, Aukett said revenue slumped 25% last year, bringing a cumulative fall of 45% over the past two years from £12m to £6.6m.

The group loss was greater than the hit it suffered during the financial crisis a decade ago and has seen the board call off its acquisition strategy and streamline headcount.

As a result, average staff levels fell 13% to 330 throughout the group.

Chairman Anthony Simmonds said : “Our company endured a perfect storm during the year ended 30 September 2018.

“Its architecture design operation in the United Kingdom suffered from a series of delayed projects and significant fee competition as a result of the continuing uncertainty of Brexit, while its business in the United Arab Emirates, although it started the year well, ended with a series of intermittent instructions, a reduced order book and debtor provisions taking their toll.

“Revenue for the year fell by 22% to £14.38m, which was too far and too rapid for us to address by cost reductions so that the year-end loss extended to £2.54m (2017: loss £325k).

“However, the recent relocation of the UK office to Bonhill Street and property consolidation in the UAE will achieve considerable reductions in excess of £400k per annum in our fixed costs in future periods.”

 

 

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