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Pascall+Watson expects to cut workforce despite bumper profit in 2019

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Pascall+Watson has said it expects to cut jobs when the furlough scheme ends, despite reporting a sharp increase in profit for 2019

The AJ100 practice saw its revenue inch upwards to £30.8 million last year, while its pre-tax profit jumped by 43 per cent to £3.8 million, according to accounts filed online last week.

But in a strategic report accompanying the accounts, signed off on 13 July, the company said the fallout from coronavirus will  ‘significantly impact both the turnover and profitability of our company’.

Pascall+Watson said it will ‘consider reductions in its cost base throughout 2020 in order to preserve its strong position once the government brings the Job Retention Scheme to an organised and controlled close’.

It added: ‘We expect [this] to result in a reduction of our workforce numbers. However, no firm decisions have been made at the date of signing’.

The architect said its work in the aviation sector had been struck particularly badly by Covid19, with the virus causing ‘significant delays and cancellations to many of our projects at each of the UK airports where we work’.

By contrast, Pascall+Watson said its work in the education and rail sectors had been almost unaffected, although it predicts ‘general economic decline over the next 12 months and possibly longer’.

The practice had net assets of £9.9 million as of 31 December 2019, with a further £860,000 being paid out in dividends for the year.

The company employed an average of 187 technical staff during 2019, the same amount as it employed in 2018.

The practice said it would not comment further on the prospect of job losses.

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