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New SMC boss 'confident' despite £3m operating loss

The managing director of SMC has said that newly released figures show the group is on a solid footing – despite an operating loss of £3 million.

Chris Littlemore (pictured), former boss of SMC Charter Architects, who was put in the hot seat at the end of February, told the AJ that the £3 million operating loss was ‘purely down to the firm’s exceptional circumstances’.

He said: ‘Certainly the last half of last year was a challenging time for the business, and clearly we knew there was a situation that we had had to deal with – and we have dealt with it.

‘I am very confident about our ability to move forward now. We raised significant money last year and re-negotiated many of the acquisition deals that took place during the rapid expansion of 2006.’

Littlemore also said the firm – which increased its turnover from £31.2 million in 2006 to £44.2 million in 2007 – had reduced its debt by £13.3 million.

He added that the appointment of four senior architects – himself, Jonathan Morgan, Philip Lees and Bob Hall – to the run the 620-strong group showed a renewed commitment to ‘architectural disciplines and design quality.’

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