Profits soars fivefold at Newcastle's Ryder Architecture

One of the region’s most well-known firm of architects has seen turnover climb 22% and profits increase fivefold

Leanne Holcroft Mark Thompson MD of Ryder Architecture Ltd
Mark Thompson MD of Ryder Architecture Ltd

One of the region’s most well-known firm of architects has seen turnover climb 22% year on year after developing a strategy to work with a broad spread of clients.

Newcastle-based Ryder Architecture said it has had a successful year of growth in all geographical locations across all of its sectors, posting sales of £7.1m for the year to the end of April 2013, and pre-tax profits have increased fivefold in the time period, from £142,855 to £729,145.

The figures show the company is now building upon its success, having suffered heavily during the recession.

In 2008 the business reduced its staff to just 70 after the Government decided to suspend its programme of investing in further education colleges, an area it performed strongly.

It suffered a financial loss in 2009, managed to break even the following year, and by 2011 was back in the black and reporting a turnover in excess of £6m.

Latest annual accounts filed at Companies House show average headcount in the year to the end of April was 101 – up from 81 the previous year – and since then the workforce has been swelled to 126.

The company said market conditions continue to be challenging, but that it remains committed to its strategic plan of a broad spread of clients and geography, ensuring it isn’t reliant on one sole sector.

The firm, which also has offices in Glasgow, Liverpool and London, works across a range of sectors including offices, leisure, residential, education, manufacturing, science, public buildings and healthcare and is pursuing a number of overseas opportunities in Asia and the Middle East, and said it has won significant commissions over the time period.

The directors said in a report accompanying the accounts: “The office and manufacturing sectors involve us working with a broad range of developers, contractors and end users. The success of these sectors requires us to continue to be responsive to our clients and also requite a strong economy and climate for investment.

“The current financial year has seen a very encouraging start with significant commissions being awarded across all our established sectors.

“The directors are confident that the company is in a strong position to capitalise on opportunities and any growth in the economy and look forward to the future with increased optimism.”

The firm has been involved in a number of local projects, notably the plans to transform Newcastle Central Station, Newcastle College and High Heaton Library, and further afield including Raffles Hospital, Singapore, and Dundee Renewable Energy Plant.

Mark Thompson, Ryder Architecture’s managing partner, said: “A great year was capped off by coming in at 35 in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.

“Against every metric we have improved – staff engagement, client diversity and satisfaction, growth and geographic reach.

“We will continue to carefully and responsibly develop the practice.”

Earlier this year the business published a book celebrating its heritage, evolution and success over six decades.

The book, launched at The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) bookshop in London as part of its 60th birthday celebrations, explored its North East roots in 1953 when it was set in motion by post-war pioneers of Gordon Ryder and Peter Yates, who grew the business to become an acclaimed practice working on projects across the UK and overseas.

In the last financial year the firm also donated £9,590 to charities.

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