Architect baled out of former Soviet bloc country last year after deciding no more potential

Astana, capital of Kazakhstan

Source: Shutterstock / evgenykz

Astana, capital of Kazakhstan

Architect AHR took a near-£3m hit over its Kazakhstan operation after it effectively handed the business over to its local management for nothing.

The firm baled out of the former Soviet bloc country in October last year after deciding there was no more potential to be had from remaining in the territory.

In its accounts for 2018 AHR said its Kazak operation posted losses of £103,000, and the architect lost just over £432,000 on its sale.

It also wrote off a loan to the Kazak business of £2.2m, while it reported a further write-down of £573,000 relating to its Polish subsidiary.

In a statement AHR said its Kazak entity had been set up to work on several energy-related schemes.

“These projects concluded in recent years and having assessed the local market and the potential for a foreign-owned practice to operate effectively in this commercial, legal and regulatory environment we decided to withdraw,” it added.

AHR said turnover for the year to December 31, 2018 rose 2% to £32.8m, while pre-tax profit dipped 12% to £2.65m. Operating profit rose by £300,000 to £3.2m.

>> Also read: Aedas announces ‘conscious uncoupling’

The group said turnover at its UK architecture operation saw turnover up 12% to £20.3m, with an operating profit of £2.2m, up 57%.

AHR, which span out of Aedas in 2014, has 308 staff working in 10 offices around the world.