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Zaha Hadid Architects insists numbers are up despite trading figures

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Zaha Hadid Architects has insisted its workforce has increased in size despite its latest company accounts showing staff numbers dropping by 8 per cent 

Figures recently posted by Zaha Hadid Holdings for the year to 30 April 2017 showed that its headcount had fallen from 379 in 2016 to 348 last year.

However, a spokesperson for the practice said the numbers of its employees had subsequently bounced back and that the company now employed 384 team members.

Over the 12-month reporting period, the company’s income slipped only marginally from £46.5 million to £46.3 million, with its operating profit rising from £4.3 million to £5 million.

Meanwhile the accounts reveal that the estimated value of the AJ100 company’s property assets has decreased. According to the documents, the former Design Museum building, which the practice bought five years ago, dropped in value by 15 per cent to around £6.7 million.

The report suggests the property at 28 Shad Thames near Tower Bridge, currently the home for the late Zaha Hadid’s archives, ‘could stand empty for some time’.

The value of three flats owned by the company in New York also fell, by around 7 per cent – the most expensive is now worth $2.7 million (£1.9 million).

However, the group’s strategic report said the company currently had 59 projects on site or in design development around the world –  ‘more than at any other time in the firm’s history’.

The company’s directors were optimistic about the practice’s future pipeline of work. The report says: ‘Despite the continued uncertain and difficult global situation, the directors are pleased with the group’s progress on existing projects and its continuing ability to win new contracts.

‘They expect that this success will be maintained for the foreseeable future’.

A spokesperson for the practice added: ’With operating profits increasing by over 15 per cent we are very encouraged by these results.

‘Turnover is very fractionally lower (less than half a per cent) largely due to lower pass-through fees invoiced on behalf of our consultants which is not unusual in a project-led business.

‘We’re delighted with recent project wins … and look forward to announcing several major new projects in the coming months which are now in development.

‘’This is reflected in our current headcount that has increased to 384 team members.’

The published figures show that the practice’s workload in Europe ballooned from £6.3 million to £14 million, offsetting a fall in its Middle Eastern income which decreased from £16.8 million to £12.6 million.

High-profile schemes on Zaha Hadid Architects’ books include its ‘breakthrough’ two tower scheme at Vauxhall, Mumbai’s second airport, and a 220ha residential development in the United Arab Emirates.

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