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'No more job losses' says BDP as profits drop again

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BDP has insisted there are no more redundancies in the pipeline despite both its profits and turnover dropping for a second year in a row

According to the latest trading figures for the year ending June 2012, the company’s income fell from £79 million to £67.6 million and its ‘retained profit’ plummeted from £1.96 million to £276,000.

Over the last 12 months the practice cut its workforce from 926 to 785, shut its Belfast, Liverpool, Winchester and Edinburgh offices and was knocked off the top of the AJ100 rankings by Foster + Partners (see AJ 17.05.2012).

However BDP chief executive Peter Drummond said he was hopeful about the UK market and the compnay confirmed there were currently ‘no planned redundancies’.

Drummond said: ‘Yes, fees and profit went down, but given the economic climate of 2011, we were very pleased that we achieved an income of £68 million.

‘Profit dropped proportionately more than turnover because we continued to invest in our international network - and now vibrant studios in the Middle East, India, and China - and fee levels have decreased dramatically. But we steadfastly held our salary levels for staff. We were affected in 2011 by a dramatic slowdown in schools and healthcare spending programmes in the UK, and the stop-start nature of commercial projects.’

Over the past six months we have noticed a positive change in the UK

He added: ‘Over the past six months we have noticed a positive change in the UK, leading to a more stable picture, but we remain cautious. Education and healthcare work has increased, especially universities and some major hospitals.’

Drummond said that town and city centre retail development was slowly returning with schemes beginning to move in places such as Dublin, Oxford, Bracknell, and Glasgow and that housing projects had becoming a growing part of BDP’s workload, in London and Manchester.

Talking about the global market, Drummond said: ‘On the international front, we continue to see growth, particularly in the Middle East. 

‘In China and India, there has been a slowdown from the recent extraordinary rate of development yet many enquiries continue to come in – interestingly it seems that the competition to secure work in these places is becoming greater. Although the climate remains hostile in the UK and Western Europe, we are beginning to detect a few early signs of recovery.  For example, some retail developer clients are once again becoming more active and there has also been an encouraging increase in opportunities in our Irish studio. 

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