Foster's posts massive pre-tax loss
Foster & Partners has posted a huge pre-tax loss after racking up interest repayments of nearly £40 million.
Latest accounts from the group business showed borrowing stood at £327 million resulting in the massive interest repayments.
This meant an underlying operating profit of £25 million – up £366,000 on the previous year’s figure – was turned into a pre-tax loss of £15 million compared to a £16 million pre-tax loss the previous year.
The firm’s net loss was up 2% to £19 million in the year to April 2010 while turnover slipped 13% to just over £134 million with more than 90% of the group’s revenue now derived from outside the UK.
The results also showed that the six directors of the business shared wages of close to £5 million, up 5.5% on last time. The salary of the highest-paid director, believed to be Foster himself, was up 5% to £1.8 million.
The group business decided against paying a dividend but the shareholders of group subsidiary, Foster & Partners Limited, also shared a dividend of £6.3 million.
Much of the debt has resulted from the decision in May 2007 to sell 40% of the business to private equity group 3i but despite the figures, Foster put a brave face on the results.
“We have navigated through a difficult year, with excellent results, both in terms of creative achievements and financial success,” he said.
“The challenge of tough times is arguably the only true test of the resilience of any practice and its organisational model.”
The number of people employed at the business stood at 936, down a quarter on the number it was employing in 2009. The number of architects at the business was 740, a fall of 25% on the 990 it had on its books a year ago.