Aukett Swanke Group, the only AJ100 practice listed on the Stock Exchange, has confirmed it is on the hunt for further acquisitions after posting strong trading figures
The outfit, which was formed in 2013 when Aukett Fitzroy Robinson splashed out £1.58million for fellow big hitter Swanke Hayden Connell Europe, saw its pre-tax profits rocket by 155 per cent to £1.4 million.
The Group’s turnover in the year to September 2014 was also up by more than 100 per cent to £17.2 million and the company saw its workforce increase by at least 30 to nearly 220 staff members. Including its joint venture companies, the practice now has 357 people based around the world.
Though trading was tough going for the company’s Russia outpost which made a loss, the offices in Germany - particularly in the 70-strong Berlin - were profitable.
Going forward the company said it was eyeing up significant growth in the Middle East and, as a result, was looking to buy a practice to help with work in the region.
Aukett Swanke’s chief executive Nicholas Thompson told the AJ: ‘We are looking for structural change - effectively change by acquisition rather than [just] organic growth.
‘Acquisitions are again on many companies’ agendas as we come out of recession. It is all about a critical mass - a size for instance where you can invest in new IT and look at succession plans. Some of this is only possible if you are bigger.’
‘There are definitely more firms looking to join up with others - that’s for certain.’
Thompson also said that while London would remain strong, he had high hopes for the regions over the next 12 months. He added: ‘In the last couple of weeks we’ve been instructed take to take four buildings outside London through to construction. That is a sign of things to come.’
‘We are also a good bellwether for the office campus market. The green shoots from a couple of years ago are moving from the drawing board to construction.’