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Eric Parry posts £1.5m loss but insists practice has turned corner

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Eric Parry Architects has posted a £1.5 million loss and reported a large drop in staff numbers and turnover, but insists the forecast for the business is ‘positive’

According to the company’s accounts for the year ending 31 July 2018, the practice’s turnover fell from £7.1 million to £5.5 million and its workforce shrank by 15 per cent from 94 to 80 people.

Parry’s company blamed the loss, which was significantly larger than the £76,000 deficit posted in 2017, mainly on its major investment in its Singapore office.

It also pointed to delays on the huge Chelsea Barracks projects and ongoing uncertainties caused by Brexit. 

However, since the end of the accounting period the practice has won a number of major commissions, including the £240 million combined cyber crime courthouse and police headquarters in the City of London and the centrepiece tower at Bishopsgate Goodsyard (pictured below). 

In March the company also secured planning permission for the £40 million redevelopment of Seal House on the north bank of the Thames at London Bridge – a 12-storey replacement for an approved, but never built scheme by David Chipperfield Architects.

A statement accompanying the latest accounts said: ’As predicted and accounted for, the year was one of investment and readjustment. Major projects, in particular phase 4 and subsequent phase 6 at Chelsea Barracks were delayed. These, together with a few major projects coming to completion and without immediate commissions, required us to reduce staffing levels.

’We have invested in several high-profile competitions and feasibility studies, which have led to the successful award of a number of new and significant projects recently. The forecast for the year ending July 2019 is positive, with secured project funding.’

It adds: ’We have seen several major clients preparing to move projects on from the drawing drawing board to construction. The major risk for us is that the general air of uncertainty causes some of these projects to stall again.’

The statement continues: ’We have won several major projects since the year end, which is the direct result of our previous year’s investment in competitions, publicity and broader industry exposure.

’The new projects have started generating turnover from the second half of the current financial year and they will continue to contribute a substantial turnover over the next few years.’

Bishopsgate goodsyard parry tower

Bishopsgate goodsyard parry tower 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This demonstrates just how difficult life can be for even the best of practices, with the economic impact of delay and uncertainty together with the need to finance speculative work on competitions.
    Brexit is obviously just one of the factors, but I wonder if the 'brexiteers' have closed their minds to the very real economic damage that's ensued from the dodgy referendum?
    At the time, the AJ reported that that a poll suggested that a majority of architects were in favour of Brexit.
    As an aside, that's one hell of an assertive base structure for the Bishopsgate goods yard tower.

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