Architect says turnover and profit slumped following last year’s vote to leave EU

AHR has said the regions are a better bet than Brexit-hit London after revealing its workloads slumped by a fifth in the aftermath of last year’s vote to leave the EU.

The practice, which emerged from the Aedas split three years ago, saw revenue in the year to December 2016 fall 20% to just under £15m. Pre-tax profit nosedived by three-quarters to £434,000.

In a statement accompanying its results, AHR pointed the finger of blame at Brexit and said last June’s EU result had “resulted in softer growth expectations. We also experienced greater volatility in project starts during the latter part of 2016.”

The firm, which over the summer was appointed to the £35m Northern Centre of Excellence (pictured) for the Royal College of Physicians in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter development, also said its pipeline of work “is visibly more short-term than it was pre-Brexit” and that London had been especially hit by uncertainty following the vote.

But it added: “The same is not true across the rest of the UK. We are finding that more developers are looking at the regions and that international money and investment in particular is moving towards major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.”

It said that it was focusing on core sectors such as residential, especially the build-to-rent sector following its deal to snap up affordable housing specialist PCKO 18 months ago.

The bulk of its turnover – £13.4m – comes from the UK, while the number of staff at the year end dropped from 192 to 163.