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Booming Foster + Partners sees turnover grow by a quarter

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Turnover at Foster + Partners rose by a quarter to £257 million and its global workforce grew by 15 per cent to 1,480, according to its latest company accounts

Foster + Partners Group’s figures for the year ending 30 April 2016 show that the average annual earnings per employee had also risen from £160,000 in 2015 to £174,000.

However, the report reveals a surprise drop in the group’s EBITDA from £51 million last year to £41 million.

According to the practice, this fall was due to ’an increase in the quantum of pass-through expenses, the grossing-up for joint venture projects and an increase in the provision against amounts recoverable from certain trade debtors.’

The accounts show that the company now had a bad debt provision of £28 million compared with £5.3 million in 2015. 

Earlier this year Foster + Partners retained the top spot in the AJ100, the annual league table of Britain’s biggest architecture firms, for the fifth consecutive year.

The practice, which last week revealed plans for a pair of towers in Miami, said it had completed 24 projects and was on site with another 55 schemes in the 12 months covered by the latest financial report.

The company now boasts 21 offices around the world.

Writing in the introduction to the accounts, company chairman Norman Foster said the practice remained globally mobile, with 660 staff having travelled overseas, making 3,000 individual trips to destinations around the world.

The company’s workload in the Middle East almost doubled from £57 million to £100 million, while its turnover in North America rose from £45 million to nearly £53 million.

Europe ‘remained dominant’ among the nationalities of his employees, said Foster, with 35 per cent coming from the UK and a further 40 per cent coming from EU countries.

He said: ’I am frequently asked for my opinion about and how Brexit might affect us. Without canvassing a vote across our studio my personal opinion is that, by virtue of our cosmopolitan culture, we would be inclusive.

The EU is a major source of the materials and components for many of our projects

‘Having said that, our works are truly global in their spread and we have no dependency on Europe as a single market, even though it is a major source of the materials and components for many of our projects.

‘It should be noted that our global spread is the outcome of a conscious policy which we have built up over many years and which we will continue to nourish.’

2016.09.07   AJ100 Graphs   Chart toppers


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