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BDP's financial fortunes turn the corner after 'challenging' years

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BDP boosted its profits and staff numbers last year, according to its latest accounts which describe 2014 as the ‘turning point’ after a ‘particularly challenging period’

The UK’s second largest architect practice made a £2.1m profit in the 12 months to the end of December 2014, a 125 per cent increase on a ‘comparable period’ during the previous 18 months.

Its staff roll swelled by 100 to 832 over the same period, according to the financial accounts which have this year switched from recording financial performance over an 18-month period to the more conventional calendar year.

The firm’s improved performance allowed a £1.75m dividend payment to its shareholders during 2014. Shareholders received no dividend payments in 2013.

The annual accounts shows the company’s divisions in Holland and China made modest losses last year, had voluntarily liquidated its Australian arm but had established a new Canadian outpost.

Its Quebec subsidiary is primarily tasked with providing ‘specialist healthcare related architectural services’ for a large hospital in the city.

BDP chief executive John McManus added that the ‘particularly challenging’ years leading up to 2014 had led to a focus on “re-establishing stability and a sustainable level of turnover in a highly competitive market”.

An improved economy and a stronger flow of large projects had helped BDP to become “leaner and fitter” and to “consolidate, and to plan strategically for growth and increased excellence in the service it provides”.

McManus predicts further improvement in BDP’s financial performance over this and next year, he added in a statement.

Meanwhile, the firm’s chair David Cash has warned that economic turmoil in the Eurozone and the Conservative’s government’s promised referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU spelled an uncertain period for architect firms.

‘Dysfunction in the Eurozone and the matter of the UK’s membership of the EU need to be resolved quickly as uncertainty will be unsettling,’ he added.

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