Pre-tax profit almost tripled at Zaha Hadid Architects in first year of pandemic

Patrik Schumacher

Patrik Schumacher, principal at Zaha Hadid Architects

Pre-tax profit and turnover leapt at Zaha Hadid Architects in the first year of the pandemic, along with directors’ pay, its latest accounts show.

Turnover shot up from £53m to £60.9m in the year to April 2021, a rise of 15%, while pre-tax profit almost tripled from £3.28m in 2020 to £9.07m.

Six directors took home £3.29m between them, a rise of more than 60%. They were principal Patrik Schumacher, chief executive Mouzhan Majidi, Jim Heverin, who designed the London Olympic Aquatics Centre, Gianluca Racana, Charles Walker, and Charlotte Phillips who has since resigned.

The pay packet for the highest-paid director, assumed to be Patrik Schumacher, rose to £1.5m, an increase of more than 130%.

The accounting period almost precisely matches the first year of the pandemic when practices faced enormous uncertainty. ZHA moved almost its entire London operations to home-working and furloughed 15 office staff in April 2020. But it said at the time that the Chinese market remained so buoyant it planned to recruit staff to manage its growing workloads there.

The financial outcome of this can now be seen in its accounts which reveal that Asia was the biggest contributor to its bottom line by far, growing from £25m to £38.5m in the year ending April 2021. North America and the Middle East both showed modest growth while every other region shrank, including the UK and Europe.

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The accounts show the amount of money brought in by each “technical employee”, of which there were 338, a slight rise, grew to £180,252 from £163,617.

In a report accompanying the accounts dated December 22, Schumacher said the practice was “an industry leader with women comprising 45% of architects at ZHA where the London team of 50 different nationalities includes more than 30% with black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds”.