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Foster goes from strength to strength as profits soar...

Foster & Partners has released an extraordinary set of year-end figures that will send shockwaves through the industry and go someway to explain private-equity group 3i's keenness to invest in the practice ('Turbo-charged' Foster signs investment deal).

Released this morning, the profit-and-loss account for the year ending 30 April 2006 reveals the firm netted a staggering £6.3 million before-tax profit, up from the previous year's £2.5 million.

Norman Foster said he was 'delighted' with the results, which he said were evidence that the firm was 'starting to reap the benefits of investing significantly over the past two years to improve the infrastructure of the group'.

Turnover of the 1,000-employee group leaped 12.5 per cent to £50 million, up from £44.5 million the previous year.

And, in another striking show of confidence, Foster claimed that the firm was on target to double that turnover next year 'with a proportional increase in profitability,' creating before-tax profits of £12 million.

Foster added that the results were 'the first tangible benefits' of the group restructuring in 2005, in which six separate groups were created, each of which reports to an overall design board, for which Foster is chairman.

Foster also paid a special tribute to three long-term colleagues - Spencer de Grey, David Nelson and Graham Phillips - with whom he said it was his pleasure to have worked for more than 30 years.

by Max Thompson

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