Arab Spring hits Zaha profits  2012-02-07 14:12:13  Popularity Index:0  Source:Internet

Last year’s Arab Spring has dented Zaha Hadid’s profits and turnover.

Accounts filed by group company, Zaha Hadid Holdings, show that the amount of work it did in the year to April 2011 was down 3.5% to £43.1 million while pre-tax profits slumped 56% to £1.8 million.

The 2012 aquatics centre designer was forced to cut 76 staff from its payroll because of the problems, but said its workloads in the Middle East were holding up.

The region is the key market for Hadid with nearly half of its work – £20.6 million – carried out there. Last month, BD revealed that the firm is on the shortlist to design the new Iraqi parliament in Baghdad. Hadid’s UK work accounts for just 13% of its turnover.

In a statement accompanying its results, the group said: “While some projects in the Middle East remain under review… we are very encouraged to find clients throughout the Middle East from both the private and public sectors continuing to approach the practice for ambitious new projects.”

Directors decided not to pay themselves a dividend following the £1.5 million paid out last time, but accounts for subsidiary firm Zaha Hadid Ltd reveal that directors were handed £500,000 in dividends – substantially down from the £6.5 million last time.

The group accounts also reveal that Zaha Hadid Ltd paid £524,000 of Zaha Hadid’s personal expenditure as well as a further £329,000 of her personal tax liabilities. The results added that the closing balance was repaid within nine months of the year end.

And Zaha Hadid Holdings paid £1.8 million “in respect of a property transaction in Zaha Hadid’s own name.” It added that the property had now been transferred to the company.

The directors of Zaha Hadid Holdings – Hadid and Nigel Calvert – were paid nearly £715,000 during the period – down from the £2 million picked up last time. And the directors of Zaha Hadid Ltd – Hadid, Calvert and Patrik Schumacher – also saw their pay packets shrink, picking up just under £745,000 – down from £2.3 million in 2010.

The results show that Calvert Solicitors, founded by Calvert 16 years ago, charged the group nearly £200,000 in legal fees during the period.